15 Mar 2010

Tomas batters Wallis and Futuna with 200km/h winds

11:12 am on 15 March 2010

Cyclone Tomas has hit Wallis and Futuna to the north of Fiji, causing damage to houses and crops.

Wind gusts of up to 200 kilometres per hour have been measured in the French territory, which has been experiencing its first cyclone in a decade.

No details of the damage have been collated but RFO radio says many traditional houses have withstood the cyclone better than newer homes.

The French overseas territories minister, Marie-Luce Penchard, who is being briefed every hour, has assured that France is ready to assist the population should it be necessary.