At Least Five Dead In New Caledonia ‘Catastrophe’
Three people were missing, but there was little hope of finding them alive. Six people were injured. As many as 500 people had been affected, said Jacqueline Johnston, the chairperson of the French Red Cross in New Caledonia.
“Landslides like that have never happened before,” she said. “There were five houses and the five houses were under the landslide.
“So we have five people dead, unfortunately,” said Ms Johnston. The worst-affected area was on tribal customary land where building permits are not required. The area had been identified as prone to slips in 2008 and 2011, and some had started to question what led the slopes to become so unstable. As a large-scale response swung into action on Wednesday, New Caledonia’s President, Philippe Germain, toured the affected area and promised that extraordinary assistance would be made available. The French President, François Hollande, and the Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, issued statements expressing condolences. RNZI
Houailou area in New Caledonia worst hit by deluge.