Mauritius airport shuts as tropical cyclone hits

The international airport on Mauritius was forced to shut on Monday as a tropical cyclone struck the Indian Ocean island.

Strong winds and widespread flooding was reported, triggering a Foreign Office travel alert.

The island’s SSR International airport was temporarily closed “until further notice” due to Cyclone Belal.

The airport said: “Intending passengers are advised to contact their respective airlines for further information on the status of their flights and not to proceed to the airport, unless receiving confirmation of the revised departure time.”

It apologised for any inconvenience caused and “reassures the public that it intends to resume its activities as soon as possible”.

Air Mauritius said that flights will be rescheduled once the airport is operational again.

“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,” the carrier said.

“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.

“Air Mauritius regrets any inconvenience caused by this situation beyond its control.”

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office said: “Tropical Cyclone Belal will continue to influence the weather in Mauritius this week.

“A cyclone warning Class III is in force in Mauritius. Weather conditions are expected to deteriorate. If you are visiting Mauritius, follow guidance and instructions from local authorities closely.

“The SSR International airport will temporarily be closed from 1630hrs local time on 15 January following cyclone warnings.

“The tropical cyclone season in Mauritius usually runs from November to May.

“If a tropical cyclone happens, follow the advice of the Mauritian government information serviceMauritius Meteorological Services has a well-structured system of phased warnings.

“Cyclones can cause extensive damage to property. During a cyclone you’re not allowed to leave your accommodation, and car insurance policies often become invalid.”

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