Devastation caused by heavy rain in Port Louis. [Reuters]

A day of mourning has been declared in the Indian Ocean holiday island of Mauritius after at least 10 people were killed as the capital Port Louis was hit by torrential rain on Saturday.

It is thought that many of the victims drowned as water poured into underpasses and underground car parks.

Reports suggest that more than 150mm of rain fell in just an hour and a half. This compares with an average rainfall total for the entire month of 221mm.

Prime Minister Navin Rangoolam placed the blame on climate change, but residents have complained about the lack of any warning in advance of the deluge.

The island is no stranger to torrential rain, experiencing occasional tropical cyclones. Neighbouring Reunion, 214km to the west, holds the record for most rainfall in 24 hours, at over 1,800mm.

The forecast is for mainly dry weather to return to the island.

Source: Al Jazeera