On April 29, 1892, a powerful tropical cyclone struck the island of Mauritius in the South-West Indian Ocean. At least 1,200 people died during the storm, and another 4,000 people were injured, with 50,000 people left homeless, making the cyclone the second-deadliest tropical cyclone recorded in the South-West Indian Ocean basin, behind Cyclone Idai in 2019. It is also the third-deadliest recorded in the Southern Hemisphere, behind the aforementioned Cyclone Idai and the 1973 Flores cyclone. The storm originated north of the island, and local meteorologists expected that the storm would remain away from the island. Consequentially, residents were unprepared until the arrival of the strong winds. For a span of 65 minutes, the calm of the storm's eye occurred on the island, before the winds again increased, reaching , with gusts to . During the storm, the barometric pressure dropped to , breaking the 74-year-old record for the lowest recorded pressure on the island. The damage on Mauritius was so severe that contemporaneous newspapers questioned whether the island would recover. Damage was estimated at Â£2,000,000 (1892 GBP, $9.75 million USD).
Before the storm struck, Mauritius had never experienced a cyclone between April 12 and December 1, which was considered outside of the cyclone season. The origins of the damaging cyclone are unclear. A report from the Royal Alfred Observatory on Mauritius noted that a large cyclone was moving southwestward on April 24, 1892, located north of the island. Over the next few days, the storm either recurved to the southeast, or generated a second smaller cyclone moving southeastward. Regardless, a powerful cyclone struck what was then the British colony of Mauritius on April 29. From 1:25 to 2:30 pm that afternoon, the island experienced the eye of the storm for 65 minutes, before the winds again increased. At 2:30 pm, a weather station recorded a minimum pressure of ; this was the lowest pressure ever recorded on Mauritius at the time, breaking the record set on March 1, 1818. At 3:47 pm, the weather station recorded maximum sustained winds of . Wind gusts reached , which would be the highest winds on the island until Cyclone Carol in 1960. There have been only six tropical cyclones producing a stronger wind gust since the 1892 storm: Carol, Jenny in 1962, Danielle in 1964, Gervaise in 1975, Claudette in 1979, and Dina in 2002. Cyclone Hollanda in 1994 tied the winds produced by the 1892 storm. The cyclone also produced lightning on the island during its passage. Weather conditions quickly improved on Mauritius after the storm moved away from the island. The storm was unusual in its trajectory coming from the northwest; most other Mauritius cyclones struck from the northeast. The nomenclature for the weather phenomena on Mauritius was variously described as a blizzard, cyclone, hurricane, tornado, and whirlwind, although the size and scope of the storm meant it was not a proper tornado. A contemporaneous newspaper article described April 29 on the island as "Black Friday".