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  DEADLY FLOOD OF WEDNESDAY 26 MARCH 2008.
Today Wednesday 26 March 2014 marks exactly six years when 4 citizens of Mauritius lost their life by drowning caused by the trail of the Torrential Rain Clouds behind CYCLONE LOLA. Many others luckily escaped with the help of brave folks. Lots of damage impacted on houses, vehicles, faulty infrastructure and other property in various places of the Island. That Extreme Weather was very miserably managed by the Mauritius Meteorological Services, by the Minister of Education, by the National Disaster Committee (NDC) and by other stakeholders.
CYCLONE LOLA named on 21 March 2008, became stationary on 25 March but did not intensify. It was moving towards the West along Latitude 160 East as from its position in the North of Mauritius. LOLA changed it trajectory to South East and passed towards the North East. So, all the trail of rain clouds that it carried behind triggered unprecedented Heavy Rainfall and FLOOD in various localities of Mauritius. Click picture to enlarge.
Mauritius was already experiencing drought since 2007. Rainfalls were gradually occurring since 01 January 2008, as explained in the email below. By Wednesday 26 March, the combination of the precipitations and of CYCLONE LOLA, Motherland was already a floating sponge. 
Mr Dunputh-Acting Director of the Meteorological Station had recorded 90 mm of rain, in 12 hours, as from 10 pm Tuesday 25 to 10 am Wednesday 26 March. He waited the rainfall to reach 100 mm, according to his Protocol, in order to alert a TORRENTIAL RAIN WARNING. It was at 11.00 hrs that he activated the Early Warning System, when his record reached 100 mm of rainfall.
On that Wednesday 26 March 2008 all schools, colleges and university were at full swing, just like all offices and other usual activities. All the miserable episode took place during the day. Schools started releasing the students after Minister of Education Mr Gokhool gave his instruction. It was too late. Whole Mauritius was under heavy rain. The North, East and South were mainly flooded, given the trajectory that CYCLONE LOLA was moving. The whole population was under a general panic.
A Form 1 student, aged 13, had just alighted from the bus, around 1.00 pm, at Mon Gout to return home. Her brother took her by hand to cross the road. The Torrent of muddy water was so strong that she slept from her brother's hand and was carried away in the river alongside. She was discovered after 3 hours by the brave folks of the locality. She was still alive, but died on reaching the hospital.
 
A widow aged 58 who was in the same bus was returning home after working in the field, was also carried away at the same place. Her dead body was found at 6.00 pm. The other passengers were safe.
Around 4.00 pm a young mason of Saint Remi, Flacq aged 25 went to watch, together with his younger brother and other friends, the overflowing water of the river nearby his house. The Torrents carried him away and was found dead afterwards.
The fourth victim was a young boy of 18 years. He was drowned in Bel Air.
Moreover, many persons travelling in buses, vans and cars were saved by the SMF and Firemen and volunteers in the region of Flacq. Houses, buildings and roads were covered and damaged by muddy water.
Mr Seebaluck, the Cabinet Secretary and Chairman of the Skeleton & Ghost-like National Disaster Committee waited until 1.00 pm to release all civil servants. 
 **************************************************************
 Original Message -----
From: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
To:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Sent: Thursday, March 27, 2008 10:57 AM
Subject: Fw: PREPAREDNESS CAMPAIGN 3
Attention Mr. L. JUGGOO.
Water Resources Unit.
----- Original Message -----
From: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
To: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Sent: Thursday, March 27, 2008 10:11 AM
Subject: PREPAREDNESS CAMPAIGN 3
Mr. S.BOODHOO,                                    March 27,2008.
Director,
Meteorological Services,
Vacoas.
Dear Sir,
             Re: Preparedness Campaign - post cyclone LOLA.
 As usual, I want to comment on the flood caused, on Wednesday 26 March, 2008 by the sequel of cyclone LOLA , wherein we have suffered from loss of lives and of property.
The flood was HIGHLY PREDICTABLE. The dynamism and reasons according to me are as follows:
i) when a cyclone becomes stationary, it can intensify. LOLA did not intensify, OK;
ii) it can change its trajectory. LOLA changed from Westwards to South-Eastwards and moved dangerously in this direction, thus approaching Mauritius;
iii) when a cyclone becomes stationary, the clouds that it is carrying do not move quickly. They fuse among themselves, become heavier and inevitably fall as heavy precipitations. This is what happened with LOLA. The torrential rain struck by surprise;
iv) You will recall that rain started falling in the early hours of January First, when I was praying for rain at Grand Bassin, as I mentioned to you in my mail of January 3. The underground pools, which were nearly empty, started absorbing the flow of rain. The rainfall during February filled almost all the aquifers and a few lakes. The continual  rainfall during March and of last week, filled all the underground pools and nearly all the lakes. It means that our dry Motherland already transformed into a floating sponge. A simple calculation indicates to us that any further rain will cause overflow and flood. This is what happened with LOLA. In such conjecture, we should not rely on satellite pictures and on bureaucracy, because these mislead our forecasts. The layman can conclude that in such situations a flood is inevitable. The Meteorological Services ought to have transmitted a SEVERE FLOOD WARNING and of Natural disaster as soon as LOLA became stationary. I was really scared about our School Children. Schools should not have been opened since early morning. The transmission of warning was too late.So, I started praying for stopping of rain during midday. The rain stopped around 2.30 pm.That is why I say that the flood disaster was HIGHLY PREDICTABLE.
Our "innocent and ignorant fellow citizens" lost lives and property. That is why I have been insisting with you that a PREPAREDNESS CAMPAIGN is essential, in view of mitigating any disaster. Each citizen should be responsible equally as institutions to reduce disasters. 
I repeat it again, because I have predicted other calamities like mosquitoes more dangerous than DENGUE, acid rain, asteroid bombardments, repetition of HAILSTONES like those of Bel Air ( refer to my mail of l7/03/2008) and of coastal flooding from the Antarctic Ocean, etc.
I mentioned on l7/03 that I am currently receiving and studying the preliminary reports of scientists and researchers who are still in the Antarctic. Icebergs many times bigger than the island of Mauritius have dislocated from the South Pole and are drifting Northwards. That is why I have predicted since 2005, that our coastal region will be invaded by Antarctic icebergs by June 20l0. 
I hope that my suggestions will help catalyze the PREPAREDNESS CAMPAIGN.
Good bye Sir.
P.KANHYE.
The MMS Director never kept contact for my endeavour.
 ********************************************************************************************************
The questions that we should ask:
  1. why the Meteorological Services could not forecast the DEADLY FLOOD earlier?. Did the Ag. Director understand why CYCLONE LOLA changed its trajectory and the prevailing atmospheric systems-MJO, ACC and ITCZ?;
  2. why the Early Warning System failed totally?;
  3. why the continual rainfalls since January could not be considered seriously as factors indicating flooding?;
  4. why the Minister of Education and his host of directors/advisers could not foresee a disaster? I think that they are all illiterate in natural calamities!
  5. what was the role of the National Disaster Committee? Bureaucracy and square peg in round hole!
  6. what compensations were given to the families of the 4 victims and for all damages incurred by householders, farmers, etc, just like those of 30 MARCH 2013? 
All these questions were asked to the Policy Makers in my precious document of 28 MAY 2011. But no answers were given up to now. 
P.KANHYE.                                            26 MARCH 2014.
                   23 MARCH WORLD METEOROLOGICAL DAY
                   RAINFALL AND CYCLONE PATTERNS;
                   PREDICTABILITY OF NATURAL CALAMITIES;
                   SATELLITE SERVICES-FLOODS 2008 & 2013;
                      

Comments   

+1 #2 Sarita 2014-12-16 12:58
I just like the valuable informatio n you supply in your articles. Good luck.
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0 #1 Julie 2014-12-15 02:38
Very interestin g article!
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