20 Mar 2003

French government releases 25 million dollars to replace homes damaged by Cyclone Erica

11:51 am on 20 March 2003

The French government is to release more than 25 million US dollars to build one thousand homes in New Caledonia after last week's destruction by Cyclone Erica.

This was announced by the minister in charge of oversaes territories, Brigette Girardin, at the end of a 30 hour visit to assesss the damage across the territory

Mrs Girardin said she expects New Caledonia's provinces to contribute a further 17 million dollars to meet the full cost of the emergency housing programme.

The cyclone caused two fatalities and left more than a hundred injured.

Communication links to the north are being repaired as are schools which have suffered damage estimated at more than 15 million dollars.