State of natural disaster in Tahiti

5:11 pm on 23 January 2017
Tahiti was hit by heavy rain

Clean-up starts after Tahiti was hit by heavy rain Photo: French Polynesia's Presidency

A state of natural disaster has been declared in French Polynesia after heavy rain hit Tahiti and Moorea.

There has been no loss of life from the flooding but substantial damage to homes and infrastructure.

Many streets in Papeete have been flooded and a bridge along the northwestern coastal road collapsed, cutting the main road around the island.

Schools on the two islands will remain closed tomorrow to continue the clean-up.

The international airport is closed until further notice as crews try to remove debris from the runway.

An Air France plane from Los Angeles was forced to divert to the Cook Islands.

Power is being restored after about 6000 households lost electricity.