Intense tropical cyclone Freddy, considered to be strongest tropical storm in the last decade, is dangerously hustling towards Rodrigues and Mauritius.
The Mauritius Meteorological Services issued a cyclone warning Class I for Rodrigues this Friday afternoon, and there are strong chances that a similar warning will be issued for Mauritius tomorrow Saturday 17 February.
Latest satellite imageries indicate that Freddy is currently located about 1760 km East-North-East of Mauritius and about 1220 km to the east north east of Rodrigues.
According to the Washington Post, Freddy’s intensity peaked just shy of Category 5 status on Wednesday (248 km/h), with little indication of weakening.
Meteo France has described Freddy as an “intense tropical cyclone” and a “particularly powerful and compact tropical system, generating extreme winds near its centre.”
The system is approaching dangerously: It is moving toward the west at about 25 km/h and is expected to maintain that general track over the next several days, possibly with a subtle southward curl.
There are growing concerns that it may impact the islands of Rodrigues was from Sunday and Mauritius as from Monday.
“The public in Rodrigues is advised to take preliminary precautions. Outer cloud bands associated with the intense tropical cyclone will cross the Island as from tomorrow (Saturday) night,” it warned.
The Met Office warned that Freddy could pass at its closest distance of approximately 275 km to the north north west of Rodrigues during Sunday night.
“Thereafter, most models are in agreement that Freddy is likely to pass at about 175 km to the north north west of Mauritius as a tropical cyclone during the night of Monday 20 February 2023,” it said in a special forecast.
Following the meeting of the National Crisis Committee on Friday afternoon, 17 February, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Local Government Anwar Husnoo indicated that, considering the path of intense tropical cyclone Freddy, Mauritius could be placed under a Class 1 cyclone alert tomorrow morning (Saturday 18 February).
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent in Madagascar said it was mobilising its teams for the cyclone.
Sources: Mauritius Meteorological Services, Washington Post, Defi Media, The Weather Channel