SAINT-DENIS, Reunion - Waves reaching 36 feet high thrashed France's Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean, leaving two fishermen missing and flooding homes and hotels, authorities said Sunday.

The waves were caused by a storm in the southern Indian Ocean that produced a swell Saturday afternoon, the French overseas department's prefect said in a statement.

The fishermen's boat capsized off the island's southwestern port of Saint-Pierre when it was caught between 23-foot waves, officials said. Rescue workers were searching for the boat Sunday.

The waves inundated dikes and flooded houses and hotels on the coast. In Saint-Leu, three people picnicking near the shore when the waves hit were injured, one of them seriously, officials said.

Waves reaching 13-15 feet were expected through Sunday evening before subsiding Monday, France's weather service said.