Tropical Cyclone Carlos brews up in the Indian Ocean

Severe storms gather over Mauritius and La Reunion, threatening wind damage and flash floods.

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    Over the past few days Tropical Cyclone Carlos has been gaining strength in the southern Indian Ocean. The tiny Islands of Mauritius and La Reunion have been dealt a glancing blow by the storm.

    Carlos has already brought flooding rains to Mauritius. Just two days ago Vacoas reported 116mm of rain in 24 hours. Meanwhile Plaisance had 117mm in the same period.

    This is the rainy season in Mauritius, with February and March being the wettest months and, as is often the case when the rains come, the mountainous interior has suffered mudslides and flash flooding.

    The centre of the system is currently located around 200km to the west of La Reunion. Here the administrative capital, Saint-Denis, recorded 126mm of rain on Tuesday. That's more than 80 percent of the February average of 153mm.

    Carlos is currently packing winds of 90 gusting 120 kilometres per hour. It is expected to strengthen further in the warm open waters of the Southern Indian Ocean.

    The Joint Typhoon Warning Center expect the storm to reach maximum intensity on Wednesday with sustained winds of 130km/h and gusts nearer 160km/h.

    That would make it equivalent to a Category 1 Atlantic hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale. It is then expected to stay to the east of Madagascar and weaken quickly as it moves into cooler waters.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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