1 Feb 2008

Southern Vanuatu battered by Cyclone Gene

5:05 pm on 1 February 2008

Hurricane force winds are continuing to affect Futuna island in southern Vanuatu as cyclone Gene has moved in a southerly direction.

The cyclone is now expected to spare New Caledonia.

There have been reports of damaged houses from Futuna, but disaster management officials have had no contact with other nearby islands.

In Fiji, where the cyclone has caused death and knocked down power lines, authorities have been working on restoring power all week.

The Disaster management Office said yesterday that 80 percent of the power is restored.

But a Suva based journalist, Patrick Decloitre, says many residents are still without electricity.

"At the end of this week, some areas are still without power. The other problem of course is the water shortage. But I believe there are thousands at the moment who are still waiting and actually asking more and more strongly and vehemently for the power to be restored."

Suva based journalist, Patrick Decloitre