17 Feb 2010

Hundreds still homeless in French Polynesia following Cyclone Oli

5:35 pm on 17 February 2010

The French Polynesia Government says up to 1000 people are still not able to return home 12 days after Cyclone Oli hit the territory.

More than 1000 thousand houses were damaged by the cyclone, including around 600 on Tubuai in the Austral island group, which was the hardest hit by Oli's winds of up to 200 kilometres an hour.

284 houses were completely destroyed and the President's spokesperson, Tevaitea Salmon, says the estimated cost of the damage to housing and infrastructure has been put at 70 million US dollars.

He says the homeless are being looked after by family members or living in temporary shelters.

"The Government with some other people have prepared some public structures to take care of people who have lost their houses, like sports structures or school structures."

Tevaitea Salmon says the governments of French Polynesia and France will jointly pay for the reconstruction of houses, businesses and public infrastructure.