Mauritius has reportedly decided to take precautionary measures to prepare for the impact of the impending Cyclone Freddy, which is being touted as a direct threat to the Indian Ocean. As part of these measures, Mauritius has grounded flights and closed its stock exchange in preparation for the tropical storm.
According to the information provided by the weather department, there were wind gusts of 120 km i.e., 75 miles per hour recorded in Mauritius recently, leading to the enforcement of a Class III cyclone warning. Countries close to the Indian Ocean like Madagascar and Mauritius, alongside African coastal regions like Mozambique, are frequently affected by severe storms, cyclones, and typhoons.
As per the report, Cyclone Freddy may pass at a speed of 120 km in the northwest direction of the island from its closest distance in the late afternoon. The arrival of Freddy will cause coastal inundation in the areas prone to more risk and residents have therefore been strictly prohibited to go into the sea. However, the weather forecast department has lowered the classification of the cyclone from very intense to intense for Rodrigues, an autonomous island located 600 km east of Mauritius.
The Prime Minister of Mauritius, Pravind Jugnauth, has expressed that Freddy is a very strong cyclone that is a direct threat to the Indian Ocean, specifically the islands of Rodrigues, Mauritius, and Saint Brandon. He urged people to stay safe at home, exercise caution and take necessary precautions.
The International Airport of Mauritius also announced that it would be shut down from February 20th, 2023, until further notice. Air Mauritius added on its website that it is continuously monitoring the situation along with the authorities and will keep the passengers informed of any new developments. The authorities on the French Island of Reunion are also on alert about the passage of Cyclone Freddy, which was expected to reach the region overnight on the 20th of February.
Source Credit: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/2/20/mauritius-grounds-flights-as-it-braces-for-cyclone-freddy