26 Nov 2016

New Caledonia search called off

9:36 am on 26 November 2016

The authorities in New Caledonia have called off the search for the three people still missing after Tuesday's landslide near Houailou.

Those still missing are a 34-year-old man and a 26-year-old woman from Gouareu as well as an eight-year-old girl from the village of Ouakaya.

Five bodies were recovered, including two children, in the mud that descended on the villages after torrential rain weakened a mountain side.

An estimated 80 people have lost all their possessions.

Collections for basic necessities are underway territory-wide to help those most in need.

The territory's president Philippe Germain described the scene as a catastrophe not seen since the 19th century.

Houailou area in New Caledonia worst hit by deluge

Houailou area in New Caledonia worst hit by deluge Photo: AFP

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