Port Louis, Mauritius. Picture: 123RF/KONSTANTIN KULIKOV
Port Louis, Mauritius. Picture: 123RF/KONSTANTIN KULIKOV

Port Louis — Mauritius closed its main airport on Monday and shops and other businesses in the capital also closed as tropical Cyclone Calvinia approached.

The Indian Ocean island’s meteorological service said Calvinia had remained almost stationary for some time at about 120km east of Mahébourg, a small village in southeastern Mauritius.

“A movement towards the west will bring the centre closer to Mauritius,” the weather service said in a statement.

Gusts of up to 120km/hr were expected to hit Mauritius by early afternoon on Monday and the airport, Port Louis Harbour, was ordered closed from noon local time.

The meteorological service declared a class III alert — indicating a storm with winds between 178km and 207km/hr — for the cyclone and Air Mauritius, the national carrier, has postponed all arrivals and departures until further notice, it said in a statement.

Port Louis Harbour is Mauritius’s principal gateway and handles virtually all external trade, including key imports for the population of 1.3-million, such as food and oil.

In 1994, Cyclone Hollanda killed two people, destroyed 450 homes and caused $135m in damage when it hit Mauritius.