Mauritius floods kill 10


A waterskier in Poste de Flacq, Mauritius, on Dec. 9, 2012.


Phil Inglis

At least 10 are dead after sudden rains caused flooding in Mauritius's capital city of Port Louis on Saturday.

At least eight of the victims were in underground areas when the flood waters rose rapidly. Another died of a heart attack.

Meteorologists on the island said 152 millimeters (6 inches) of rain fell in less than an hour, 70 millimeters less than the average for the entire month of March.

"We had forecast bad weather and rain, but not on that scale and not in such a short period of time," said Balraj Dumputh, the head of the meteorological service.

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Residents have been advised to stay home Sunday as more rain is expected.

So far, there has been no official government reaction to the situation. Head of the ruling labor party Patrick Assirvaden, however, has called it "unprecedented." He said the torrential rains were due to "climate change."

"We have to adapt to this situation and to the damage caused by nature," he continued.

Alan Ganoo, head of the opposition, has said the government is not up to dealing with the disaster.

Mauritius is best known as a palm tree- and beach-lined holiday and honeymoon destination off the coast of Madagascar.