As the tropical Cyclone Calvinia approaches, Mauritius has closed its main airport and shops as well as other businesses in the capital.
The Indian Ocean Island’s meteorological service said in a statement on Monday that Calvinia had remained almost stationary for some time at about 120 kilometres (72 miles) east of Mahebourg, a small village in southeastern Mauritius.
“A movement towards the west will bring the centre closer to Mauritius,” the weather service said.
Gusts of up to 120km an hour were expected to hit Mauritius by early afternoon on Monday and the airport, Port Louis Harbour, was ordered closed from noon local time.
The meteorological service declared a class III alert — indicating a storm with winds between 111 and 129 miles per hour — for the cyclone and Air Mauritius, the national carrier, postponed all arrivals and departures until further notice, it added.
Port Louis Harbor is Mauritius’ principal gateway and handles about nearly all external trade, including key imports for the population of 1.3 million such as food and oil.
In 1994, Cyclone Hollanda killed two people, destroyed 450 homes and caused 135 million dollars in damage when it hit Mauritius.