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The Mauritius Portaledit
Flag of Mauritius
Coat of Arms of Mauritius
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Mauritius Listeni/məˈrɪʃəs/ (Mauritian Creole: Moris; French: Maurice, pronounced: [mɔˈʁis]), officially the Republic of Mauritius (Mauritian Creole: Republik Moris; French: République de Maurice) is an island nation in the Indian Ocean about 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) off the south east coast of the African continent. The country includes the islands of Agaléga, Saint Brandon and Rodrigues. Mauritius forms part of the Mascarene Islands, which include the neighbouring islands of Réunion, Saint Brandon and Rodrigues. The area of the country is 2040 km2, its capital is Port Louis.

The first Portuguese explorers found no indigenous people living on the island in 1507. The island of Mauritius was the only home of the Dodo bird. The bird became extinct fewer than eighty years after its discovery. The Dutch settled on the island in 1598 and abandoned it in 1710, Mauritius became a French colony in 1715 and was renamed Isle de France. The British took control of Mauritius in 1810 during the Napoleonic Wars. The country became an independent state as a Commonwealth realm on 12 March 1968 and a republic within the Commonwealth on 12 March 1992.

The country's populace is composed of several ethnicities, mostly people of Indian, African, Chinese and European descent. Most Mauritians are multilingual, English, French, Creole and Asian languages are used.

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Cyclone Hollanda

Cyclone Hollanda was the worst tropical cyclone in Mauritius in 19 years. It formed on February 6, 1994, in the central Indian Ocean in the southern hemisphere. The cyclone moved southwestward for much of its duration, striking Mauritius on February 10 at peak intensity with winds of 155 km/h (100 mph). It later passed just southeast of Réunion before turning to the south and weakening. The cyclone became extratropical on February 14 in the southern Indian Ocean.

On Mauritius, Hollanda destroyed or severely damaged 450 houses, which left at least 1,500 people homeless. High winds left half of the island without power, and also caused severe crop damage; nearly half of the island's sugar crop was destroyed, which necessitated for the government to assist in replanting efforts. Hollanda killed 2 people and caused $135 million in damage on Mauritius. About a week after the cyclone struck, Cyclone Ivy also affected the area, although to a lesser degree. The highest rainfall from the cyclone fell on Réunion, with 741 mm (29.2 in) recorded at Grand Coude.

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Water Lilies Pamplemousses.jpg
Credit: Avinash Meetoo
Water Lilies in Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden in Pamplemousses.
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Anerood jugnauth n bush.jpg

Sir Anerood Jugnauth (अनिरुद्ध जगन्नाथ), KCMG, QC, GCSK, PC, LLB, GOLH, GOP, ORS (born 29 March 1930) is the President of Mauritius.

He served as prime minister from 1982 to 1995 in four consecutive terms and then was voted out of office from 1995 to 2000. He was the prime minister who held the office for the longest run, one of 16 years, overtaking Seewoosagur Ramgoolam, who held the office for 14 years. As leader of the Militant Socialist Movement, he became prime minister again, after the 2000 elections, for his fifth term. His alliance partner, Paul Bérenger of the Mauritian Militant Movement, succeeded him in 2003 after serving as Jugnauth's deputy for three years. Jugnauth was then elected president in 2003. He was a Member of Parliament for 35 years, from 1963 to 1995 and from 2000 to 2003.

He was called to the Bar by The Honourable Lincoln's inn of Courts. He was a cabinet minister during the leadership of Seewoosagur Ramgoolam from 1965 up to 1969. In 1970, he moved out and went to the newly created political party of the Mauritian Militant Movement, where he eventually became its leader in 1982.

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Jacques-Désiré Laval

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Credit: Hansueli Krapf

Coastline in Mauritius.

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