Berguitta Tropical Cyclone to reach hurricane strength hitting holiday hotspot within days | World | News


The East African island of Mauritius is predicted to clash with the devastating cyclone on January 18, according to the US Navy and Air Force Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

The category two storm is predicted to bring “considerable damage” to shrubbery and trees – building roof materials, doors and windows are also likely to see the damage.

Mobile homes, signs and piers could also be victims of the strengthening storm’s power.

Meteorologist Philip Klotzbach said: “Tropical Cyclone Berguitta is strengthening and is forecast to reach hurricane strength as it heads southwest towards Mauritius and Réunion.”

Weather expert José García added: “Cyclone Berguitta posing to be a major threat for the Mascarene Islands (Réunion and Mauritius): could be the strongest storm there since Dina 2002.

“Pay attention to this storm if on the islands.”

Cyclone Dina caused record flooding in parts of Réunion, a French island neighbouring Mauritius – it reached its peak intensity on the 20 January 2002, with horrifying winds of 130mph being unleashed.

The storm hit in the same region and devastated the UK holiday hotspot of Mauritius as well as Réunion with torrential rains and powerful winds.

The cyclone caused “catastrophic” damage that resulted in the entire island of Mauritius losing power and witnessing substantial structural damage.

Nine people were killed in the East African province – five from Rodrigues Island and four on its main island.

Meanwhile, Réunion saw up to 2,102millimetres of rain fall in three days.

Flooding destroyed homes, roads and plagued agriculture.

Mauritius tried to prepare for the terrifying storm by closing schools, government offices, businesses and ports – a state alert was also issued.

Fights to and from the nation were cancelled “until further notice”.

The strongest observed gust of wind in Réunion was 170mph.

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