Clarets ambassador tells of devastation in Mauritius
A CLARETS ambassador has spoken of his horror at devastating floods which swept through a holiday island.
Eleven people died as six inches of rain fell in less than an hour and the deluge trapped around half a dozen victims in an underground subway.
Bhurdwaz Mungur, assistant secretary of the Mauritius Football Association and a member of the Clarets Trust, managed to escape the worst of the flooding.
But he has told how cars have floated away on the sudden swelling, rainwater gushed through homes and electricity supplies were cut off.
Mr Mungur, who lives on the island with his wife Oomadevi, said: “It is for the first time that this has happened. Even the very old do not remember such a calamitous situation.”
Clarets Trust chairman, the former Burnley MP Peter Pike, said: “We have sent a goodwill message for the island in light of these appalling floods.”
Roads in and around the capital Port Louis have been badly damaged and there are food shortages after stocks were washed away in the floods.
The dad-of-two said the floods had begun as crowds gathered for the first horse-racing classic of the year, The Duke of York Cup, on the Champ de Mars course.
But before long racing had to be abandoned, as the rain continued to pour down, amid fears for the safety of jockeys, horses and punters.
He added: “Within two hours all streets looked like rivers with a heavy current of water along all streets in Port Louis.
“There was huge accumulation of water principally in the tunnels crossing the streets . Some cars had to stop there in view the traffic was blocked and no one dared to drive his car at the risks of their lives.”
Many of the victims died after being trapped inside their cars and yesterday was declared a national day of mourning by Prime Minister Navin Rangoolam.
Mr Mungur is chairman of Mauritian League side Faucon Flacq, based on the east side of the island.
He can trace his association with Burnley back to 1954, when the Clarets played three games in Mauritius and Madagscar as part of an Indian Ocean tour.
Ever since he has gone out of his way to welcome any visiting Burnley supporters to the island and keep abreast of developments at Turf Moor.
Mr Mungur was honoured by becoming an Officer of the Order of Key and Star of the Indian Ocean, the equivalent of a CBE, by the Mauritian government in 1988.
Speaking in 2005, he said: “The glory days when Burnley not only ruled Britain but were recognised as a major force in Europe are still vivid in my mind.”
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