One killed as cyclone hits New Caledonia






NOUMEA: One man was killed and another was missing after Cyclone Freda hit New Caledonia, as landslides blocked roads and high winds downed power lines, officials in the French Pacific territory said on Thursday.

Wind gusts had weakened to 90 kilometres per hour (60 miles per hour) as it moved towards the east Caledonian island of Mare, after hitting the Solomon Islands earlier this week as a destructive storm with gusts reaching 231 kph.

High commissioner Albert Dupuy told reporters in the capital Noumea that one man had drowned in high seas whipped up by Freda, while an 18-year-old male was missing after attempting to cross a swollen river.

Some 3,200 people were without power, Dupuy said, adding that multiple roadways were blocked by landslides or flooding.

The storm was moving eastward at 30 kph and set to leave the New Caledonian region over the next 48 hours, officials said.

- AFP/al



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One killed as cyclone hits New Caledonia