Tropical Storm Fakir turns deadly after unleashing destructive winds, mudslides on La Reunion

By Courtney Spamer, AccuWeather meteorologist
April 26, 2018, 9:46:40 AM EDT

Tropical Storm Fakir has caused at least two deaths after it unleashed a direct hit on La Reunion on Tuesday.

The island nation of Mauritius also took a direct hit, but there have been no reports of fatalities at this time.

A tropical low northeast of Madagascar quickly intensified into Tropical Storm Fakir late on Monday. Traveling through a zone of favorable conditions, the storm spiked to a severe tropical cyclone before hitting La Reunion head on.

Wind gusts of 112 km/h (70 mph) were reported in Saint Pierre, on the southern end of La Reunion Island on Tuesday morning. These wind speeds are equivalent to that of a Category 1 hurricane in the Atlantic or East Pacific Ocean basins.

These powerful winds toppled trees and power lines and caused low visibility in wind-whipped rain.

"Fakir dumped nearly 390 mm (15 inches) of rain across parts of Reunion Island," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jason Nicholls.

This rainfall caused massive flooding and impassible roads in some places.

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Mudslides were also reported, which ultimately killed two people, Annick Girardin, the French Minister of Overseas, said on Twitter.

As the week progresses, conditions will continue to improve across the islands.

Another tropical low, well south of Sri Lanka, is currently showing the potential for tropical development in the next few days.

AccuWeather meteorologists will continue to monitor for tropical cyclones across the Indian Ocean and all other basins.

FakirIR 4.24

The above satellite image is an infrared view of Fakir as it pulls away from La Reunion and Mauritius on early Wednesday. (NOAA)

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