February 29, 2024

Tropical Cyclone Belal hit the islands of Reunion and Mauritius, causing severe flash flooding and leaving many homes without electricity. In Mauritius, the weather service raised the alarm from class two to class three and warned of worse to come as the cyclone passed at its closest point. In Reunion, Belal brought torrential rain and strong winds, leaving many without electricity and water, and disrupting telephone and internet connections. Authorities issued the highest level of alert, warning people not to venture outside. However, the cyclone’s path was less severe than expected, and the violet alert level was lifted, allowing emergency services to assess the damage. Despite warnings to stay indoors, one death was confirmed, that of a homeless person in Saint-Gilles who had refused emergency accommodation. The cause of death is still unknown. The gendarmerie reported finding the body near their barracks. Cyclone Belal caused significant damage and disruption in the region, with severe flash flooding in Mauritius and widespread power outages in both islands.

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