Cyclone Belal: Cars submerged and winds of 120km/h recorded

A tropical cyclone crossed the Indian Ocean islands of Réunion and Mauritius yesterday, bringing with it torrential rain and heavy flooding.

A cyclone warning class IV remains in force in Mauritius, with Severe Tropical Storm Belal cyclonic conditions persisting over the island and gusts exceeding 120km/h.

This is according to a statement issued by Mauritius Meteorological Services this morning.

“In the past few hours, barometric pressure in Mauritius has started to rise, indicating that Belal has already crossed at its closest distance from Mauritius. However, the cyclonic winds associated with Belal are still influencing the island,” the statement reads.

It says that at 07:00 Mauritian time, Belal was ‘centred at about 150km almost to the south-southeast of Blue Bay’ and was moving in a general easterly direction at a speed of about 15km/h.

Highest gusts recorded over the past 12 hours:

  • Quatre Bornes: 124km/h
  • Nouvelle Découverte: 122 km/h
  • Rivière des Anguilles: 121 km/h
  • St Félix: 115 km/h
  • Grand Bassin: 112 km/h
  • Quatre Soeurs: 115 km/h
  • Plaisance: 104km/h

Mauritius Meteorological Services advises the public to maintain all precautions and stay indoors.

“Active cloud bands associated with Belal are still crossing the island, giving rainy and gusty weather. The heavy rainfall will cause water accumulations and flooding in several places.

“Wind will blow from the northwest at a speed of about 50km/h, with gusts of the order of 120km/h.”

In addition, the sea will have swells of 8m to 10m beyond the reefs.

“The storm surge will cause coastal inundation [flooding from rising sea water levels] along low-lying coastal areas… It is strictly advised not to go out at sea and to avoid venturing along beaches.”

Miss South Africa and Miss World 1974 Anneline Kriel, who lives in Mauritius, posted a video on Facebook yesterday, saying there was a lot of wind and humidity, but they were safe.

In a video posted by the Zululand Observer last night, cars can be seen being pulled along by the water, with people still inside one of the vehicles.

Mauritius Travel Guide posted on Facebook: “Heavy flooding hit Mauritius today as tropical cyclone Belal ‘came dangerously close’ to the island after hitting the French overseas territory of Réunion. Torrential rains hit the island’s capital, Port Louis, and its surrounding areas, which were mainly affected by flooding.”

Photo: Mauritius Travel Guide/Facebook.

Many others took to social media to report about the cyclone.

Read original story on

Back to top button