Mauritius airport closed yesterday afternoon until further notice as Cyclone Belal brought heavy flooding to the Indian Ocean island, turning roads into rivers.
At least one person has died in a motorcycle accident caused by the flooding in Mauritius, according to local news reports, while there are also reports of a death on the nearby Reunion island, which was also battered by the cyclone.
Cars have been washed away by surges of water in the Mauritius capital city Port Louis and elsewhere on the island.
The Government has imposed a curfew and issued an order that everyone except emergency and health workers, members of the security services and those requiring medical treatment must stay at home.
Air Mauritius has been forced to cancel a further five flights today, but its delayed flight from London Gatwick, which was due to depart yesterday afternoon, is now scheduled to leave for Mauritius at 4pm today.
In a statement, the airline said: “Once SSR Intl. Airport is operational, flights will be rescheduled.
“We make an appeal to all Air Mauritius passengers not to show up at the airport until they have been informed of the timings of their rescheduled flights.
“Air Mauritius will keep its passengers informed of affected flights through its call centre, on its website at airmauritius.com, on its social media platforms and through regular communiques.”
In an updated to its travel advice issued this morning, the Foreign Office said: “Cyclone warnings in Mauritius have now been lifted, but a Safety Bulletin remains in place. Severe Tropical Storm Belal will continue to influence the weather this week.
“Maintain all precautions and stay indoors. Follow instructions from local authorities closely.
“If you are visiting Mauritius and need urgent consular assistance, contact us on +230 660 4900 and press option 2.
“The SSR International Airport will temporarily be closed from 1630hrs local time on 15 January following cyclone warnings.”
Image is from France 24 video