People in Reunion have been ordered to stay indoors as Cyclone Belal is expected to make a direct hit – Copyright KCNA VIA KNS/AFP/File STR
Hundreds of thousands of people on France’s Reunion Island were confined to their homes Monday, as authorities issued the highest alert for a potentially devastating storm.
Cyclone Belal was expected to barrel directly into the French Indian Ocean island on Monday, as it moved in from the northwest packing “extreme winds”, according to the Meteo-France forecast.
“The eye of the storm will directly cross over the island,” the meteorological service said in its latest public bulletin.
“Belal is not, however, expected to become an intense tropical cyclone.”
In preparation for gusty winds that could exceed 250 kilometres per hour (155 miles per hour) in the highlands, authorities hoisted the violet-level alert, indicating imminent danger, at 6:00 am (0200 G