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Tsunami activity near Mauritius

by John

Was Mauritius effected by this severe tsunami event that occurred several years ago?




Jeff's response:

Hi,
If you're referring to the massive Sumatra tsunami that occurred on the 26th December 2004 then yes, Mauritius was in the path of the tsunami. However, the effect on Mauritius was quite small in comparison to other islands like Rodrigues and those closer to the epicentre.

By the time the waves approached Mauritius, it was low tide thankfully. A tide gauge in Port Louis Harbor measured wave heights of around 1.8 metres. The only region in Mauritius that recorded any flooding was the far northern parts of the island and this only effected the coastal roads; this flooding was very short-lived. As a consequence, there was hardly any property damage and no one lost their life.

As far as I understand, in the last 100 years, Mauritius has not been hit by a devastating tsunami. Most of the Sumatra tsunami's energy was directed towards the west, north-west, north and north-east rather than the south-west and this greatly reduced the impact upon Mauritius.

That doesn't mean that Mauritius can never be effected by a powerful tsunami. It was very lucky this time.

Thankfully, since mid-2008, the Mauritian meteorological centre has set up a tsunami warning centre coupled with tsunami tracking and this will provide many hours of advanced warning if or when it a tsunami approaches again.

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