30 December 2019

Mauritius closes main airport as cyclone Calvinia approaches


PORT LOUIS (Reuters) - Mauritius closed its main airport on Monday and shops and other businesses in the capital also closed as the tropical cyclone Calvinia approached.


The Indian Ocean island’s meteorological service said 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 center closer to Mauritius,” the weather service said in a statement.


Gusts of up to 120 km an hour were expected to hit Mauritius by early afternoon on Monday and the airport, Port Louis Harbor, 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 said in a statement


SAA cancelled flights after the Mauritius Meteorological Services issued a cyclone warning.

SAA cancelled flights between Johannesburg and Mauritius on Monday because of unfavourable weather conditions associated with tropical storm Calvinia.


“We have decided to add additional flights on Tuesday in order to accommodate as many passengers as possible who are affected by the cancellation on Monday. SAA will operate two wide-bodied aircraft, an A330-200 [36 business and 186 economy class seats] and an A330-300 [46 business and 203 economy],” said airline spokesperson Tlali Tlali.