18 Jul 2003

Rains cause flooding, destroy crops in New Caledonia

10:27 am on 18 July 2003

Torrential rain in New Caledonia has caused widespread damage, flooding roads, cutting access to villages and swamping crops.

Two days of heavy rain has left several villages in remote areas isolated and without a clean water supply.

Roads have been closed by flooding and mudslides, and many farmers already hard hit by Cyclone Erica in March have suffered further loss of crops.

Authorities are waiting for the flood waters to recede before they can measure the full extent of the damage.

To add to the territory's problems, yesterday a tornado damaged houses and coconut plantations in Lifou in the Loyalty Islands.