01/04/13 03:25 CET
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The Indian Ocean island of Mauritius has been hit by severe floods. At least 10 people have been confirmed dead after over 150mm of torrential rain lashed the low-lying capital of Port Louis in under two hours.
Most of the victims were trapped in rapidly rising floodwaters in an underpass.
Mauritius lies east of Madagascar and the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean. The small country is a tourism hotspot and popular honeymoon destination and has now seen over half the monthly average rain for March in just one day.
Speaking on national radio, the Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam cited climate change as one of the key factors in the disaster. He declared 1st April a national day of mourning.
Roads were rendered completely unpassable, with trees uprooted and overturned floating freely in the floodwaters. In one district, conditions led to a 15-car pileup, hampering rescue operations.
The island’s meteorological service has warned of further showers and isolated thunderstorms into Monday.
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