Tropical Cyclone Bejisa is starting 2014 churning east of Madagascar and taking aim at the French island of Réunion. Mauritius declared a category 2 cyclone warning.
The warm waters of the Indian Ocean may cause Bejisa to reach major hurricane strength with maximum sustained winds in excess of 95 mph.
The dangerous cyclone will remain well east of Madagascar but poses severe dangers to lives and property on the French island of Réunion.
Réunion is home to more than 800,000 people, according to an estimate by the French National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies.
Both Mauritius and Reunion are member of the Vanilla Islands Tourism Organization.
Intense tropical cyclone Bejisa is forecast to strike Reunion at about 12:00 GMT on 2 January. Data supplied by the US Navy and Air Force Joint Typhoon Warning Center suggest that the point of landfall will be near 20.6 S, 54.7 E. Bejisa is expected to bring 1-minute maximum sustained winds to the region of around 194 km/h (120 mph). Wind gusts in the area may be considerably higher.
According to the Saffir-Simpson damage scale the potential property damage and flooding from a storm of Bejisa’s strength (category 3) at landfall includes: Storm surge generally 2.7-3.7 metres (9-12 feet) above normal. Some structural damage to small residences and utility buildings with a minor amount of curtainwall failures. Damage to shrubbery and trees with foliage blown off trees and large trees blown down. Mobile homes and poorly constructed signs are destroyed. Low-lying escape routes are cut by rising water 3-5 hours before arrival of the centre of the storm. Flooding near the coast destroys smaller structures with larger structures damaged by battering from floating debris. Terrain continuously lower than 1.5 metres (5 feet) above mean sea level may be flooded inland 13 km (8 miles) or more. Evacuation of low-lying residences within several blocks of the shoreline may be required. There is also the potential for flooding further inland due to heavy rain.
The information above is provided for guidance only and should not be used to make life or death decisions or decisions relating to property. Anyone in the region who is concerned for their personal safety or property should contact their official national weather agency or warning centre for advice.
Latest surface meteorological observations indicate that, tropical cyclone BEJISA continues to move in its south south easterly track at about 14 km/h, causing widespread rain and violent winds in its neighbourhood.
However active cloud bands associated with BEJISA are influencing the weather over Mauritius with intermittent rain and gusts of the order of 90 km/h. The squally weather will persist till late in the afternoon.
At 10h00, tropical cyclone BEJISA was centered at about 310 km almost west of Mauritius in latitude 20.3 degrees South and longitude 54.4 degrees East. On the present trajectory,
BEJISA continues to approach Mauritius
A CYCLONE WARNING CLASS II IS IN FORCE IN MAURITIUS.
Currently in Madagascar the weather Mauritius will remain cloudy in general with intermittent rain becoming locally moderate to heavy and Thundery.
Wind will blow from the North-East with gusts of the order of 100 km/h especially over the exposed areas.
Sea will be high with heavy swells and risks of beach inundation mainly to the Northern and Western sectors. Ventures at sea and even along the western and northern beaches are strictly forbidden.
The public in Mauritius is advised to maintain preliminary precautions.