New Caledonia sounds alert as Cyclone Erica heads towards the territory
Updated at 11:43 am on 13 March 2003
New Caledonia has gone on pre-alert as a cyclone with winds gusting at up to 185 kilometres an hour approaches the island.
Tropical Cyclone Erica was about 500 kilometres north-west of the territory yesterday and is expected to reach New Caledonia on Friday if it maintains its present course and speed.
Meanwhile, a second cyclone named Eseta has turned into a marginal hurricane with winds up to 175 kilometres an hour.
Eseta is several hundred kilometres south west of Fiji and has caused flooding in south-western areas.
The Nadi river has burst its banks, flooding low-lying areas.
Disaster officials in the Kadavu group, about 80 kilometres south of Suva, have set up evacuation centres in community halls and churches to prepare for contingencies.
Next story in Pacific: Sydney-based think tank says PNG on brink of disaster
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