Reunion Island hit by cyclone Belal | EUROtoday

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L’purple alert “exceptional danger”, decreed this Monday morning at 6 a.m. (native time) for the primary time on the island – which signifies that even emergency companies can’t intervene within the occasion of an excessive emergency – was lifted a number of hours later. Reunion stays on purple alert. The French division of the Indian Ocean, which has some 900,000 inhabitants, is presently experiencing the passage of tropical cyclone Belal, a “particularly violent” system, with excessive climate circumstances.

Currently, whereas the eyewall evacuates to the east, intense rain continues to fall on the island and devastating wind gusts, generally over 200 km/h, sweep the Department. Strong swells are additionally famous with waves averaging 9 meters.

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Confined inhabitants, one homeless individual died

Very early Monday morning, prefect Jérôme Filippini took inventory of the long-uncertain trajectory of Belal. The meteorological companies specify that the system, which approached the island from the north however with out crossing it proper by way of, is much less violent than anticipated: “It ultimately did not intensify and remained a classic cyclone. »

“The red alert will be maintained at least until Tuesday morning, to allow the first reconnaissance of the emergency services,” specify the prefecture companies. Confined since 8 p.m. (5 p.m. Paris time) on Sunday, the inhabitants of Reunion is anticipated to stay so not less than till then. A homeless individual, who allegedly refused to take shelter, was discovered unresponsive within the early morning close to the Saint-Gilles-les-Bains gendarmerie, within the West. The causes of this dying haven’t but been decided.

13% of households quickly disadvantaged of electrical energy

For the second, energy cuts have been noticed all through the division. 34,740 properties had been with out water when the primary wall of the cyclone was on the island. 57,000 households, or 13%, additionally had an influence lower. The Mafate cirque, a vacationer hotspot within the coronary heart of the island, is totally flooded. Most of the gullies are in flood and scenes of flooding are rising throughout the complete island. Residents of the North-West and the west coast verify that “cars were swept away by the waters”. In many gardens, mango and different banana bushes have bent below the blow of the wind.

The commune of Saint-Paul recorded 577 mm of water in Maïdo within the house of only a few hours. Since Sunday night, greater than 600 folks have already been evacuated and accommodated within the 158 lodging facilities arrange this weekend. 104 preventive evacuations had been carried out. “We were told about waves of up to 15 meters, so we decided to head higher,” says a resident of La Saline, on the west coast of the island.

These heights, nonetheless, had been way more uncovered to gusts, which got here near 220 km/h within the windiest sectors. Contacted, a pair from La Montagne, on the heights of Saint-Denis, noticed a part of their roof torn off by the power of the wind after “devastating gusts”. “We were very scared, it was really impressive. »

“Gigantic waves”

Still on the west coast, the extent of the Saint-Gilles ravine exceeded that of 2013 and the sturdy swells compelled a number of the inhabitants of the bay of Saint-Paul to evacuate through the night time. Interviewed on native radio, Emmanuel Séraphin, town’s mayor, additionally confirmed {that a} sure variety of areas are flooded. Several residents presently have their ft within the water.

Residents of Sainte-Marie, within the north-east of the island, report “gigantic waves which came to cover the road along the coastal road”. In the East, in Saint-Benoît, a number of folks have seen palm bushes blown down by the wind. “Many objects were thrown into the street, it was flying everywhere,” relates a resident.

A lull earlier than the passage of the second wall of the cyclone

Shortly earlier than midday (native time), the attention of the cyclone reached the north of Reunion. A brief-term lull as a result of passage of the second wall of the cyclone. According to the meteorological companies, the middle of the cyclone brushed the east of Reunion round 10 a.m. and the rear wall of the despair would current “less dangerous than expected” traits. Concerning the phone networks, 31 are presently out of service out of the 1,282. The prefecture specifies, nonetheless, that no important construction is presently affected.

“We must be patient and hold out until tomorrow morning,” confirmed the prefect throughout his final press briefing. The occasion just isn’t over. » “If we have to remain confined, we will comply with our obligations,” concedes a resident of the South, the final space of ​​the island to have been hit by the cyclone.

Sunday night, earlier than the passage of Belal, Météo-France companies introduced that the cyclonic system can be “historic”, as had been Jenny, in 1962, and Firinga, in 1989. If the worst appears to have been prevented, the injury may however be appreciable.