Skip to main content

Cyclones in Mauritius

While the south-east trade wind blows the whole year through and actually is a harmless and even pleasant event, in case of the cyclones the situation gets serious.

Cyclones in Mauritius

They are also winds that are originated by the strong sun radiation, but they are tremendously more fiercely and destructive.

Cyclones are originated during the months January up to March, when the sun is already returning from the southern tropic in direction to the northern tropic; While the sun is positioned for a short time vertically in the sky above the equator, thus only passes it briefly, it spends more time in the area of the tropics, as the sun gets there, turns around and slowly returns . The consequence is that the air and water temperatures strongly increase.

According to statistics, Mauritius is in the centre of a cyclone only every 5 years. Still, every year the island is hit by the remnants of 3 to 5 storms. Most frequently, cyclones form on the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn where the body of water heats up to 26°C for longer periods of time.

During the period of the cyclone the water temperature and on the surface evaporates much quicker than the water in underlying layers. High cloud towers build and are put into motion by the rotation of the earth. These clouds bring storm and heavy rainfalls.

If such a cyclone approaches the island, one should immediately look for a shelter. The rural inhabitants that live in some instable huts, search for shelter in public office buildings or churches. Hotels have to bring into safety everything what is not cast-iron. On the sea, metres-high waves are formed, torrential rainfalls descend on the island, the wind takes the roofs and the trees with it. The spectacle only takes a few hours, then the weather calms down again and the extent of the destruction gets visible.

There are only extremely destructions if the cyclone straight passes over the island, thus with its eye. But also when a cyclone passes Mauritius at a distance of a few hundred kilometres, the consequences are noticeable on the island: there are stronger rainfalls than usual, the wind blows fiercely and the sea breaks some massive waves against the coral reefs and/or the edge of the island.

Storm warnings are made public on TV and radio. On the free call 96 you will be able to receive the latest news and helpful information in several languages.

The cyclone warning system in Mauritius is structured in 4 classes:

Mauritius Cyclones Levels:

Class I: Issued 36 to 48 hours before Mauritius or Rodrigues is likely to be affected by gusts reaching 120 km/h.

Class II: Issued so as to allow, as far as practicable, 12 hours of daylight before the occurrence of gusts of 120 kilometers (km) per hour.

Class III: Issued so as to allow, as far as practicable, 6 hours of daylight before the occurrence of gusts of 120 kilometers(km) per hour.

Class IV: Issued when gusts of 120 km per hour have been recorded and are expected to continue to occur.

Cyclone Termination:

Issued when there is no longer any appreciable danger of gusts exceeding 120 km per hour.

Preparedness And Precautions in The Event of a Cyclone

Before The Cyclone

  • Ensure that your house is in good condition and can withstand cyclone gusts.
  • Trim tree branches likely to cause damages to your house, telephone and electricity lines.
  • Clear your property of loose material that can cause injury and damage during extreme winds.
  • Identify secure places for your boat.
  • Be acquainted with the nearest cyclone refugee centres.
  • Prepare an emergency kit consisting of: Portable AM/FM radio and fresh batteries. Torch, lamps, candles, matches, etc. Water containers. Canned food, can opener, stove with sufficient gas. Rice, flour, biscuits, cheese, etc. First aid kit and essential medicines. Clothes secured in plastic bags. Tool kit for emergency repairs (hammer, nail, rope, etc..)

During a cyclone warning class l

  • Make sure your emergency kit is ready.
  • Monitor cyclone bulletins on Radio/TV.
  • Prepare to secure windows and doors with shutters or shields.

During a cyclone warning class ll

  • Verify that your emergency kit contains all essential items
  • Store sufficient amount of drinking water
  • Continue to monitor cyclone bulletins on Radio/TV

Upon the issuance of a cyclone warning class lll

  • Complete all preparatory measures.
  • Fix shutters.
  • Secure doors and windows.
  • Store loose articles.
  • Avoid areas prone to storm surges and flooding.
  • Shelter domestic animals.
  • Secure vehicles.
  • Those in insecure dwellings, move as early as possible, to cyclone refugee centre with your emergency kit.
  • Avoid going outside.
  • Monitor closely cyclone bulletins on Radio/TV.

During a cyclone warning class IV

  • Gusts of 120 km/h or more are occuring
  • Stay inside. Seek shelter in the safest part of the house.
  • Disconnect all electrical appliances.
  • Listen attentively to cyclone bulletins and advice on the Radio / TV.
  • If the house starts to suffer important damages, protect yourself with mattress, rugs or blankets.

After the cyclone

  • Do not leave your shelter until the all-clear signals have been given by relevant Authorities.
  • Beware of fallen power lines, damaged buildings and trees and flooded water courses.
  • Do not consume fallen fruits.
  • Boil water for drinking purposes.
  • Clean yard and drain out stagnant water to prevent proliferation of mosquitoes/diseases

Major Tropical Cyclones in Mauritius

Year Date-Month Name Classification Nearest Distance from Mauritius Highest Gusts
km/h
Lowest Pressure
hPa
1892
29 Apr
-
-
-
216
947 *
1931
5 – 7 Mar
-
Intense Cyclone
-
180
969
1945
16-17 Jan
-
Intense Cyclone
Over Mauritius
156
953 *
1945
1-2 Feb
-
Intense Cyclone
South
150
969
1946
30 Jan-1 Feb
-
Intense Cyclone
Close West
129
984
1958
6-9 Apr
-
Intense Cyclone
80 km West Reunion
129
1004
1960
16-20 Jan
Alix
Intense Cyclone
30 km off Port Louis
200
970
1960
25-29 Feb
Carol
Intense Cyclone
Over Mauritius
256
943
1961
22-26 Dec
Beryl
Intense Cyclone
30 km West
171
992
1962
27-28 Feb
Jenny
Intense Cyclone
30 km North
235
995
1964
17-20 Jan
Danielle
Intense Cyclone
40 km South West
219
974
1966
5-7 Jan
Denise
Severe Depression
65 km North West
167
1003
1967
11-14 Jan
Gilberte
Severe Depression
Centre over Eastern part
142
978
1970
23-25 Jan
Hermine
Severe Depression
240 km West South West
125
999
1970
27-30 Mar
Louise
Intense Cyclone
140 km East
140
988
1972
11-13 Feb
Eugenie
Severe Depression
240 km North North West
132
1002
1975
5-7 Feb
Gervaise
Intense Cyclone
Over Mauritius
280
951
1978
18-21 Jan
Fleur
Intense Cyclone
80 km South East
145
986
1979
21-23 Dec
Claudette
Intense Cyclone
Over Mauritius
221
965
1980
24-28 Jan
Hyacinthe
Intense Cyclone
80 km North West
129
993
1980
3-4 Feb
Jacinthe
Intense Cyclone
150 km South East
129
992
1980
12-13 Mar
Laure
Intense Cyclone
30 km North East
201
989
1981
5-7 Jan
Florine
Intense Cyclone
80 km West
135
1003
1982
5-6 Feb
Gabrielle
Mod. Depression
100 km North West
145
1001
1983
23-26 Dec
Bakoly
Intense Cyclone
55 km South West
198
992
1989
27-29 Jan
Firinga
Cyclone
80 km North West
190
994
1989
4-6 Apr
Krissy
Severe Depression
30 km South
150
976
1994
9-11 Feb
Hollanda
Intense Cyclone
20 km North West
216
984
1995
7-8 Jan
Christelle
Mod. Depression
Over Mauritius
109
994
1995
24-27 Feb
Ingrid
Cyclone
100 km North East
153
989
1995
8-13 Mar
Kylie
Severe Depression
135 km West North West
114
1005
1996
24-25 Feb
Edwige
Mod. Depression
100 km North
162
1009
1996
14-16 Apr
Itelle
Intense Cyclone
275 km North
109
1011
1996
6-8 Dec
Daniella
Intense Cyclone
40 km South West
170
998
1998
10-11 Feb
Anacelle
Cyclone
50 km East
121
985
1999
8-10 Mar
Davina
Intense Cyclone
25 km South East
173
974
2000
27-29 Jan
Connie
Intense Cyclone
200 km North West
122
1003
2000
13-15 Feb
Eline
Severe Depression
130 km North
129
1006
2002
20-22 Jan
Dina
Very Intense T.C
50 km North
228
988
2003
12-13 Feb
Gerry
Tropical Cyclone
100 km North North East
143
990
2003/04
31 Dec 03-03 Jan 04
Darius
Severe Tropical Storm
40 km South East
113
994
2005
22-24 Mar
Hennie
Severe Tropical Storm
60 km South East
112
990
2006
03-04 Mar
Diwa
Severe Tropical Storm
220 km North North West
126
1005.7
2007
22-25 Feb
Gamede
Tropical Cyclone
230 km North West
158
995.5
Quick Contact