17 Mar 2010

Futuna crops destroyed by Cyclone Tomas

9:41 am on 17 March 2010

A damage assessment after cyclone Tomas hit Wallis and Futuna shows that 80 percent of the crops on Futuna have been destroyed.

On Wallis half the crops have been destroyed when weekend winds of 200 kilometres an hour swept across the territory.

Many homes have been damaged or flooded and half the schools have been damaged.

The road on the northern side of Futuna has been washed away.

On Wallis, the main roads have been cleared and power has been restored along the south coast.

The French overseas territories minister, Marie-Luce Penchard, says emergency funding will be released.

She has instructed the French administrator to prepare a declaration of natural disaster to pave the way for the disbursement of money to those who lost their homes.

A French air force plane has flown emergency supplies and disaster relief experts from New Caledonia to Wallis.

A second aircraft is to fly to Wallis and Futuna today.