Cyclone leaves two dead on French islands

26th February 2007, Comments 0 comments

SAINT-DENIS-DE-LA-REUNION, France, Feb 25, 2007 (AFP) - Two people were killed on Mauritius and nine hurt in the French Indian Ocean department of Reunion when a tropical cyclone brushed the island at the weekend, officials said Sunday.

SAINT-DENIS-DE-LA-REUNION, France, Feb 25, 2007 (AFP) - Two people were killed on Mauritius and nine hurt in the French Indian Ocean department of Reunion when a tropical cyclone brushed the island at the weekend, officials said Sunday.

The victims had ignored official bans on going out while Cyclone Gamede was in the vicinity.

On Mauritius a man of 22 was swept away by high waves on Saturday some 10 kilometres (six miles) south of the capital Port Louis. Local member of parliament Maurice Allet said he had slipped off a rock which he and two companions had climbed.

Early Sunday a 41-year-old cyclist was killed when he rode into a fallen electric cable in the centre of Mauritius, police said.

On Reunion nine people were injured, one seriously, when they defied a ban on driving.

In the south of the island a 520-metre (600-yard) long bridge was swept away and around 100,000 people were deprived of electricity, officials said.

The mayor of the town of Saint Louis, Cyrille Hamilcaro, said the collapse of the bridge over the Saint Etienne river was a disaster which would cause serious disruption to the local economy.

Farmers' leader Jean-Yves Minatchy said torrential rain and wind reaching a record 205 kilometres (127 miles) per hour had also caused heavy damage to crops, especially sugar cane and bananas.

As Gamede moved away north-westward authorities said a red alert forbidding movement would be lifted early Monday but schools would remain closed.

In Mauritius about 60 percent of electricity subscribers were without power, but the airport and ports had reopened. Schools, however, would also remain closed Monday.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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