Warden Message - Cyclone Information Fact Sheet
Provided below is valuable information on emergency preparedness for cyclones. U.S. citizens are encouraged to review this information and to share it with family members in order to be prepared in the event of a serious cyclone.
CYCLONE WARNING CONDITIONS
The cyclone warning system for Mauritius is established by the Mauritian Meteorological Services. They range from Class 1 to Class 4 depending on the probability of the storm affecting Mauritius.
Class 1 is issued 36 – 48 hours before Mauritius is likely to be affected by a depression or a cyclone.
Class 2 is issued so as to allow 12 hours of daylight before the occurrence of gusts of 120 km/h.
Class 3 is issued in time to allow 6 hours of daylight before the advent of 120 km/h gusts.
Class 4 is issued when gusts of 120 km/h have occurred and are expected to continue.
Termination: There is no longer any appreciable danger of gusts exceeding 120 km/h.
The best way to stay informed is to listen to the radio broadcasts (AM1 – 684 KHz, AM2 – 819 KHz, FM – 97.3 MHz) cyclone information, in English and other languages, but at irregular intervals. A distinctive trumpet fanfare tells you a warning is about to be issued. (You can listen to Reunion radio AM 729 KHz, 666 KHz or RM 96.6 MHz, 96.0 MHz – in case MBC is down.) You can also dial 96 for a recorded message from the Meteorological Department.
Storm information is available online at either of the following websites:
The local official weather link http://metservice.intnet.mu/index.htm
The U.S. Military has a cyclone tracking system that can be viewed at the following site: http://www.nrlmry.navy.mil/tc_pages/tc_home.html
Class 1 or at the first announcement of a cyclone:
• If you are visiting an outlying area during cyclone class 1or 2 return home.
• Keep yourself updated on the status of the storm by dialing 96 on your telephone for a recorded message or by listening to the radio.
• Bring inside the house anything you (or the cyclone) can reasonably move (plants, bikes, toys, lawn furniture.) Put your car in the garage to protect it from falling objects.
• Keep a supply of candles, matches, batteries for a radio and flashlights, non perishable foodstuffs, bottled water, and plastic to cover furniture that might be situated under a leaky part of the ceiling. Have these things on hand before the storm.
• Boil and filter extra quantities of water in case power is cut. Do not drink the water from the tap immediately after a cyclone; the water lines are often disturbed and therefore tainted. Fill bath tubs with water.
• Keep your automobile topped with gas, as the pumps at the station may not be working after the storm.
• Check batteries in storm shutter remote controls.
• Ensure all preparations have been completed.
• Return home.
• The U.S. Embassy will close during cyclone class 2 or class 3 depending upon local conditions. The Embassy’s Duty Officer may be contacted in the event of an emergency by dialing the Embassy’s switchboard, however may be unable to assist due to weather conditions. Should telecommunications on the island fail, it may be impossible to reach U.S. Embassy staff until after they are restored.
• Public transport will cease. Stay off the roads. private companies and Government offices are closed;
• Stay inside to avoid injuries caused by flying objects and strong gusts of wind.
• STAY INSIDE UNTIL ALL THE WARNINGS ARE CLEARED.
• Watch out for downed electric lines.
• Get rid of stagnant water, check flat rooftops for water drainage.
• Be sure to use only bottled or boiled water. Any food which is beginning to thaw in your freezer should be cooked and eater or refrozen (after cooking), if you have electricity. Be selective where you buy frozen goods - it’s best to use shops which use generators.
• If power outage causes frozen meat to thaw, do not re-freeze it. Get out your barbecue and cook it as soon as possible. Be aware that some grocery stores may not have generators, and the meat may be spoiled.
Vehicle Insurance Information
It is common belief that all vehicles may remain on the road until three hours after the posting of cyclone condition 3. This is incorrect and probably stems from the fact that most bus companies shut down operations approximately three hours after cyclone class III has been established. According to the Motor Vehicle Division of the Police Department, there are no regulations prohibiting the use of a motor vehicle during any cyclone warning signal. However, the Police Department has advised the Embassy that the use of a personal motor vehicle during a cyclone is strictly at the owner’s risk and any damage may not be covered by insurance.
It is highly recommended that you carry a “comprehensive” insurance policy on your vehicle. Driving during cyclones may be covered under a “comprehensive” policy; however personal injury or death to the driver is not covered. Also, passengers in your vehicle are also not covered unless the liability of the driver can be proven.
For those vehicles which are insured with other local companies and overseas, it is strongly advised that you check the terms of the policy.
Note: for your safety and protection, do not drive under a Class 3 or 4 warning.
Americans living or traveling in Mauritius are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy, Consulate, or Consular Agency through the State Department’s travel registration web site, https://travelregistration.state.gov/, and to obtain updated information on travel and security within the Mauritius. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy, Consulate, or Consular Agency. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy, Consulate, or Consular Agency to contact them in case of emergency. Those who are already registered are encouraged to update their registrations in the event their address, phone number, or e-mail address has changed.
The U.S. Embassy is located on the fourth floor of the Rogers House on John F. Kennedy Street in Port Louis, Mauritius, telephone (230) 202-4400; fax (230) 208-9534. The Embassy email address is PTLconsular@state.gov, and its website is http://Mauritius.usembassy.gov.
Further information on travel to Mauritius is also located on the State Department web site at http://www.travel.state.gov.