Tropical Cyclone Bejisa Projected to Strike Mauritius on January 3

January 1, 2014 Updated: July 18, 2015

Tropical Cyclone Bejisa, also known as Tropical Storm Bejisa, is forecast to hit Mauritius on January 3 after hitting Reunion on January 2.

The cyclone is hovering over Reunion, a French island, with wind gusts near 62 miles per hour.

The island of La Reunion recorded 230mm (9.1 inches) of rain in 36 hours as Bejisa passed by, the U.K.’s weather office said.

About 800,000 people live on the island, which is east of the African island of Madagascar.

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The cyclone is projected to strike Reunion at about 12 GMT, according to data from the US Navy and Air Force Joint Typhoon Warning Center cited by the Tropical Storm Risk.

The organization says that maximum winds from Bejisa could briefly rise to 120 miles per hour (194 kilometers per hour). Wind gusts could be “considerably higher.”

“According to the Saffir-Simpson damage scale the potential property damage and flooding from a storm of Bejisa’s strength (category 3) at landfall includes:

-Storm surge generally 2.7-3.7 metres (9-12 feet) above normal.

-Some structural damage to small residences and utility buildings with a minor amount of curtainwall failures.

-Damage to shrubbery and trees with foliage blown off trees and large trees blown down.

-Mobile homes and poorly constructed signs are destroyed. Low-lying escape routes are cut by rising water 3-5 hours before arrival of the centre of the storm.

-Flooding near the coast destroys smaller structures with larger structures damaged by battering from floating debris.

-Terrain continuously lower than 1.5 metres (5 feet) above mean sea level may be flooded inland 13 km (8 miles) or more.

-Evacuation of low-lying residences within several blocks of the shoreline may be required. There is also the potential for flooding further inland due to heavy rain.

The storm is then projected to hit Mauritius around 6 GMT on January 3.

The landfall is forecast to be near 20.6 S, 56.5 E. By this time the storm is expected to have weakened to a category 2 but still be dangerous.

About 100,000 people in Mauritius are expected to be impacted by the storm.

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Tropical Cyclone Bejisa on Thursday. (NOAA)

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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