According to the United Nations Development Program, Mauritius is vulnerable to “considerable economic loss, humanitarian stresses and environmental degradation as a result of climate change impacts. The direct climate change impacts are likely to adversely affect Mauritius including an increase in the frequency of intense rain fall episodes, sea-level rise of 18-59 metres by the year 2100 and an increase in intensity of tropical cyclones”.
Flood these days is becoming a great danger from time to time for the lives of people. Thunder and lightning are causing havoc and endangering the lives of many people in this country. There have been reports where some houses have been destroyed by thunder and lightning in some part of Mauritius. People in this country do no longer feel safe due to the climate change impacts. Many people have been affected and victimized by flash flood as well as by thunder and lightning. It is high time that something is done to solve such catastrophic problem. The question is how do we combat such phenomena?
One will never forget of the flash flood of Saturday the 30th March 2013 causing the death of 11 people. Within the short duration of two hours of torrential rain, the whole town of Port-Louis was flooded and part of its areas was under water. This tragedy is still in the mind of many people.
On the other hand, it is true to say that no countries are safe from natural calamities. If we remember what happened to us in 2007, we had heavy swell of the sea, causing killer waves in Mauritius, Rodrigues and other surrounding islands. We need to be given deep thoughts in so far as natural calamities are concerned. We need to be rightly guided by the Meteorological Department and be prepared to face such phenomena.
Natural calamities tend to increase their intensity, ferocity and frequency. It was in December 2004 that we witnessed the ferocious tsunami on the news that hit three continents and killed nearly 200,000 persons besides destroying land and buildings
According to U.K. Scientists, global warming may inundate and wipe out entire countries and cities. It threatens the rise of the sea level in alarming proportions. The melting of the ice caps in Greenland, Antarctica and elsewhere could raise the average sea level by several metres. Is this God’s wrath or a result of man’s own folly? We believe it is the latter for man has arrogantly disturbed the ecological balance of our planet. What more he is still doing so.
The world’s poor countries are the worst hit whereas the rich and rich countries simply ignore the threat. The time has come to put a halt to the plunder of the world’s resources by a handful of transnational corporations and powerful nations, especially the rape of the Third World. Development for the sake of development should be abandoned and instead we have to search for a path of sustainable development.
Make no mistake; even Mauritius (as we have just witnessed) is not spared from natural calamities. Whether we like it or not, all the signs and symptoms showed lately in the behaviour of our meteorological occurrences are clear that natural calamities are gradually approaching us .Only few weeks ago there was confirmed report that a minor earthquake for few seconds occurred in certain areas of Mauritius. It is high time that the government do something to help us understanding through massive education of how to face such natural calamities be it hurricane, earthquakes, epidemic, floods and other disasters. There should be safety guidelines for the general public to protect themselves.