23 Mar 2020

Vandalism at Noumea airport amid Covid-19 crisis

2:32 pm on 23 March 2020

Windows have been smashed at New Caledonia's international airport a day after a demonstration for tougher measures to contain the Covid-19 outbreak.

Noumea airport at La Tontouta New Caledonia

Noumea airport at La Tontouta New Caledonia Photo: RNZ Walter Zweifel

Rocks were thrown at the terminal's glass front and that about 40 cars parked outside were damaged, Les Nouvelles Caledoniennes reports.

People in La Tontouta had rallied on Saturday with calls to step up measures, defying directives to avoid large gatherings.

Police are investigating the damage at the airport.

Reports say in several places roadblocks have been set up by civilians to control movements.

Scheduled flights have been abandoned but New Caledonia's carrier Aircalin plans two flights to Tokyo this week to allow stranded travellers to repatriate to France.

New Caledonia has five confirmed Covid-19 cases.

After transmission within the community was established, the government decided yesterday to restrict movements as of midnight tonight.

All gatherings will be banned.