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Episode 1661

Cyclone Berguitta
Sun, 2021-Nov-21 01:37 UTC
Length - 4:52

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Welcome to featured Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of the featured Wikipedia article every day.

The featured article for Sunday, 21 November 2021 is Cyclone Berguitta.

Intense Tropical Cyclone Berguitta was a strong tropical cyclone that caused flooding in Mauritius and Réunion in January 2018. The third tropical system and first intense tropical cyclone of the 2017–18 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season, Berguitta originated from an area of scattered thunderstorms southwest of the Chagos Archipelago on 10 January. It slowly organised as it moved southwards, and became a tropical storm as it turned west on 13 January. Berguitta then rapidly intensified to achieve its peak intensity on 15 January while stalling north of Rodrigues. At the time, the cyclone possessed 10-minute sustained winds of 165 km/h (105 mph), 1-minute sustained winds of 195 km/h (120 mph), and a minimum central pressure of 960 hPa (28.35 inHg). Berguitta weakened as it moved slowly west-southwestwards on 16 January, and the cyclone degraded to a tropical storm by 17 January. It accelerated southwestwards over Mauritius and Réunion on 18 January, before degenerating to a post-tropical cyclone the next day. The remnants of Berguitta transitioned into an extratropical cyclone and dissipated over the Indian Ocean on 24 January.

In Mauritius, Berguitta brought heavy rains and gusty winds to Rodrigues from 13 to 15 January. The island experienced a quarter of its average annual rainfall during those three days, resulting in widespread floods, especially in coastal areas. The island's airport was closed for nearly six days, stranding several Mauritians and tourists. Berguitta affected Mauritius's main island on 17 and 18 January, passing just south of the coast. Two days of continuous heavy rain caused severe floods that damaged buildings and at least three‑quarters of the island's crops. A total of 6,800 households lost power after fallen trees damaged power lines, while water supplies to the capital Port Louis were disrupted. Two people were killed on Mauritius: one in a car crash and the other after a fall from a ladder. After the storm, the government gave payouts to 13,000 affected residents, but the small size of the payments and delays in giving them out led to protests. More demonstrations ensued when families were evicted from evacuation centres. Economic losses in Mauritius were estimated at ₨ 2 billion (US$59 million). Réunion was impacted by rain and wind mostly on 18 January. The southern part of the island was particularly hard-hit by floods and landslides. Several rainfall records set by previous cyclones were broken, particularly at Grande Coude, which experienced 1,862 mm (73.3 in) of rain in eight days, including 848 mm (33.4 in) in 24 hours. Widespread rain-induced flooding caused extensive damage to road infrastructure and agriculture. One person went missing after being swept away by floodwaters. Damage to the power grid left nearly 100,000 customers without electricity, while water supplies were interrupted in several communes. Economic losses in Réunion were estimated at €41 million (US$48 million), including €16.7 million (US$19.7 million) of agricultural damage. The town of Cilaos was especially affected after the only road linking it to the island's ports was blocked repeatedly by landslides, severely disrupting economic activity. After Berguitta passed, the government invested several million euros into reconstruction, financial aid, and improving road infrastructure. However, recovery was interrupted by cyclones Dumazile and Fakir in March and April, respectively.

This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 01:37 UTC on Sunday, 21 November 2021.

For the full current version of the article, see Cyclone Berguitta on Wikipedia.

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