Late-season Tropical Cyclone "Fakir" hit Réunion Island, a French department in the Indian Ocean, early Tuesday, April 24, 2018 as the latest storm in the season on record. Fakir formed at 12:00 UTC on April 23, 2018 as the 7th named storm of the 2017/18 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season. The season started on November 15, 2017 and will officially end on April 30, 2018.
At 05:00 UTC on April 24, the center of Tropical Cyclone "Fakir" passed about 20 km (12.4 miles) east of Piton Saint-Rose on the eastern coast of the island, producing high waves, strong winds with gusts up to 151 km/h (94 mph) and dropping very heavy rain. The strongest winds have passed very near the eastern coast where an unofficial station reported a 981 hPa near the radius of maximum wind.
Within 24 hours, the island received between 200 and 300 mm (7.8 - 11.8 inches) of rain. Over 400 mm (15.7 inches) was measured in Le Baril while several other locations reported over 300 mm during the same period.
A couple in their twenties was killed in Etang-Salé after a mudslide caused by heavy rain hit the bungalow they rented, local police department told AFP.
This cyclone was unusual for the season and rare, officials said, adding that it moved over the island very quickly, at 43 km/h (26 mph) as opposed to 10 to 15 km/h (6 - 10 mph) normally.
In neighboring Mauritius, the storm brought winds of 112 km/h (70 mph) and over 100 mm (4 inches) of rain within 24 hours. Local media reported power supply was cut and some flights were canceled or delayed.
The cyclone started its extra-tropical transition early April 25 far away from the islands. It is expected to fully dissipate within 24 hours.
Featured image: Deadly mudslide caused by Tropical Cyclone "Fakir" on April 24, 2018. Credit: Réunion en Lèr