'Direct Threat': Mauritius Grounds Flights as Cyclone Freddy Approaches

Flights were grounded in Mauritius on Monday, February 20, as the country’s National Emergency Operations Command warned that Tropical Cyclone Freddy posed a “direct threat”.

“The very intense Tropical Cyclone Freddy… comes dangerously close to Mauritius and represents a direct threat to the island,” the command said in an announcement.

In an update on Monday, Airports of Mauritius said that Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport in Plaine Magnien, the country’s primary airport, would be closed until further notice after a warning was issued by the Mauritius Meteorological Services.

Footage posted on Facebook by Ray de Vries shows winds picking up around the Azuri Resort in the northeast of the country.

The cyclone was forecast to impact Reunion Island between Monday evening and Tuesday morning, according to Meteo-France. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said Freddy was expected to make landfall in Madagascar on Tuesday evening, as a Category 4 storm. Credit: Ray de Vries via Storyful