All emergency services, including the Mauritius Police Force and the Mauritius Fire and Rescue Service, are on high alert after a cyclone warning Class 1 came into force in Mauritius at 16 00 hrs on Monday 15 January 2018 as Berguitta has intensified into a tropical cyclone.
The Minister of Social Security, National Solidarity, and Environment and Sustainable Development, Mr Etienne Sinatambou, made this statement yesterday during a press conference, in the presence of the Commissioner of Police, Mr Karl Mario Nobin, and the Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Mr Ashok Kehlary, following a meeting of the National Crisis Committee at the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Centre (NDRRMC) in Port Louis.
Minister Sinatambou highlighted that according to the National Crisis Committee, it is important that all services be on standby as Berguitta represents an impending danger for Mauritius. The Mauritius Meteorological Services already issued a cyclone warning Class 1.
The Minister underscored that there is a risk of gusts of up to 150 km/h and that all necessary measures must be taken in a timely manner. During the meeting of the National Crisis Committee, all 30 members were briefed about the prevailing weather conditions and ensured that all preparedness plans can be activated whenever required, Mr Sinatambou said.
On the other hand, the National Emergency Operations Command (NEOC), established within the NDRRMC, met for a briefing and to take stock of the situation and the state of preparedness. The NEOC is activated whenever a disaster or any other major crisis becomes imminent, Minister Sinatambou stated. The NEOC is multi-agency, comprising representatives from Ministries/Departments, other emergency services, Non-Governmental Organisations and private sector. It is the main coordinating body during the preparedness, response and recovery phases for any major crisis falling under its purview, he added.
The Commissioner of Police and the Deputy Chief Fire Officer reassured the population that their respective organisations are on alert and prepared to intervene at any moment.