PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT

Pacific Islands Development Program/Center for Pacific Islands Studies

AT LEAST EIGHT KILLED BY FRENCH POLYNESIA CYCLONE

TAHITI, French Polynesia (April 27, 1998 - Radio Australia)---An emergency relief operation is continuing in French Polynesia, where landslides caused by Cyclone Alan have killed at least eight people on the islands of Taha’a and Raiatea.

After threatening the Cook Islands, the storm was downgraded to a tropical depression, but it then turned southeast, intensified, and hit the Society Islands with high winds, heavy rain and killer landslides.

Several people are reported missing on both islands and at least ten people have been injured.

Telephone and power links are cut and there is serious flooding.

Evacuations were necessary on Maupiti.

A 60-member relief team has been sent to the affected islands from Papeete to assist with emergency operations.