15 Jan 2011

Alerts lifted in New Caledonia after Cyclone Vania

10:12 am on 15 January 2011

Cyclone alerts have been lifted in New Caledonia following the battering by tropical cyclone Vania.

Gales, high seas and heavy rain closed airports, cut power and forced people to take shelter.

The French High Commission in Noumea says French troops helped evacuate people to safety including five hundred squatters.

Authorities also issued a special order forbidding people to take to the streets in the capital.

People are now being warned to limit their movements where possible, as several roads in the greater Noumea area are blocked by trees and debris

Authorities also say people should stay clear of power lines that are on the ground, and not try to fix electrical installations.