Réunion island mops up after deadly cyclone

Réunion island mops up after deadly cyclone
Residents of the French island of Réunion struggle to make it through the streets amid Cyclone Bejisa's 150-kmh winds on Thursday. Photo: Richard Bouhet/AFP
Cyclone Bejisa hammered parts of the French island of Réunion on Thursday night, claiming at least one life, leaving 15 injured, and cutting off water and electricity for hundreds of thousands.

One person died and 15 were injured after a cyclone packing winds of 150 kilometres (95 miles) an hour passed over the French Indian Ocean island of Réunion, officials said on Friday.

A red alert asking residents to remain indoors was lifted on Friday.

But the cyclone caused widespread damage uprooting trees, damaging and flooding dozens of homes and severing power and water supplies (see video below).

The sole death from Thursday's cyclone Bejisa was an elderly person found outdoors, La Réunion's top government official Jean-Luc Marx said. The mayor of the town of Saint Leu, however, told French TV TF1 that there had in fact been "at least two deaths."

Two of the 15 injured were in serious condition after falling from a roof and a ladder while trying to secure their homes, local officials said.

State-run power firm EDF said downed lines cut electricity to about 172,000 households.

Around 200,000 people – roughly a quarter of the island's population – had water cut to their homes.

The eye of Cyclone Bejisa passed within 15 kilometres (10 miles) of the western side of Réunion.

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