Cyclone Ava dominates media coverage in Mauritius

Port Louis, Mauritius (PANA) - The New Year festivities were marked in Mauritius by the passage of tropical cyclone Ava, near the coast of the island, which brought heavy winds and a lot of rain, thus disrupting the first days of work of 2018.

Mauritius media reported that heavy showers, in hundreds of millimeters of rain, that inundated the whole island, have caused a lot of worries to the population, due to floods and the damage done to agriculture but were very beneficial to the island’s reservoirs.

"Impassable roads, rivers that have come out of bed or flooded houses and courtyards ... The authorities have had a lot to do because of Ava," wrote the daily newspaper L'express.

It continued: "This situation has led the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Committee to meet urgently. And soldiers of the Special Mobile Force and firefighters have been working hard and were scattered across the country to intervene promptly as needed."

Under the title 'Mauritius begins the year under the water', another daily 'Le Défi' wrote that the showers hit the entire island, with some regions receiving more than 200 mm of rain in one day. "Mauritius has gone into level 2 alert regarding the risks of natural disasters," it noted.

Le Defi also described activities that have been affected by heavy rains, saying: "Thus, we learn that farmers have suspended their activities because of vegetable plantations that have been submerged with water.

"The construction sector has not yet started, while trade, according to Raj Appadu, president of the Common Front Merchants of Mauritius, is sluggish, as at the beginning of each year, but the situation got worse due to bad weather."

Commenting on the situation in other economic sectors such as hotels, transport and banking, Reeaz Chuttoo, president of the Confederation of Private Sector Workers (CTSP), said in the same newspaper that employees were at their position despite heavy rains. "As a result, there is no impact on operations," he said.

For its part, Le Mauricien daily reported remarks of some farmers who estimated that their plantations were affected by 30% because of heavy rains. "I will not be surprised if the damage exceeds 50%, with the return of the sun, in a few days," said a farmer.

In the same newspaper, other farmers talked about the loss of soil fertility "with the rains that have carried nutrients that are in the soil at the foot of plants, deposited in the form of fertilizer by planters."

Others spoke of a "disaster" in agriculture, and in their opinion, "sooner or later we will have to import some vegetables, as has been the case in the past. "
-0- PANA NA/AR 6Jan2018

06 janvier 2018 14:05:34

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