Cyclone Storm Surge Forecasts for Mauritius

Published: 13 August 2015

The Republic of Mauritius is the first Small Island Developing State (SIDS) in the Indian Ocean with its own tide and storm surge Early-Warning System for improving preparedness and resilience to events like cyclones.

The storm surge model was developed together by Deltares and the Ministry of Environment, Sustainable Development, Disaster and Beach Management. It predicts where and when a storm surge is to be expected. The prediction is produced every six hours and covers a period of three days. This gives authorities enough time to evacuate the area. The storm surge prediction model covers the islands of Mauritius, Rodrigues and Agalega.

fotolancering systeem met minister

Hon. Jayeshwur Raj Dayal Minister of Environment, Sustainable Development, Disaster and Beach management (third from the left) attending the launch of the system

Project leader Joao de Lima Rego: ‘This nation-wide forecasting system produces three-day forecasts every six hours based on the most recent weather forecasts and the tropical cyclone bulletins issued by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. The system has been installed at the Mauritius Meteorological Service in Vacoas, Mauritius, and it was a pleasure to work together with and train the staff operating the early warning system.’

Best Practices for disaster risk reduction

A Mauritian delegation including high-level representatives from the Ministry for the Environment and Sustainable Development, from the Mauritius Meteorological Service, and from the National Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Center will visit Deltares for a two-week workshop. There will be more discussions about best practices for disaster risk reduction and for the dissemination of early warnings. Decisions will also be taken about how best to extend the technical capabilities of the existing early warning system (to include wave forecasting, for example).

Small island states are vulnerable to the effects of climate change

Small island states are vulnerable to the effects of climate change, such as sea-level rise, in combination with severe storms like cyclones. They must improve resilience levels and obtain help from different NGOs. UNDP, for instance has established a platform for sharing knowledge and obtaining funding.