Story by Oleen Ndori, Foreign Desk Editor
MAURITIUS grounded flights and shut its stock exchange as Tropical Cyclone Freddy approached the island in the Indian Ocean, while emergency teams braced for heavy rains, floods and landslides in four regions of Madagascar.
The cyclone, packing wind gusts of up to 120 km per hour, posed a direct threat to Mauritius.
Authorities on the island of Madagascar say they are expecting a direct hit late Tuesday, between Mahanoro in the East and Manakara in the South East.
Reports say the government’s disaster management office was sending tents, ropes, chainsaws and other supplies to four districts most likely to be affected by the storm.
The Indian Ocean islands and Mozambique have been hit by a string of deadly storms and cyclones that have forced thousands to flee, destroyed buildings and ruined crops.
The cyclone comes hardly a month after tropical storm Cheneso killed 33 people in Madagascar.