PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT

Pacific Islands Development Program/East-West Center
With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies/University of Hawai‘i


CYCLONE SOSE KILLS ONE MAN IN VANUATU, ANOTHER IS MISSING FROM MARÉ ISLAND, NEW CALEDONIA

NOUMÉA, New Caledonia (April 10, 2001 - Oceania Flash/SPC)---Tropical cyclone Sose, which battered both Vanuatu and the French territory of New Caledonia, has so far left one dead and one missing, RFO reports.

Sose developed late last week north of Vanuatu.

It still packs winds up to 100 knots at its center.

Over the weekend it hit the two largest islands of Vanuatu: Espiritu Santo and Malekula.

On Malekula, falling objects reportedly killed a 60-year-old man while he was attempting to take shelter, national radio reported on Sunday.

Sose's center came very close to Maré island (Loyalty Islands group, northeast of New Caledonia) early on Monday, where 37-year-old Norbert Drowia, a villager of Wakoné, on Sunday night was watching the huge waves crash against Maré's high cliffs.

He was taken away by a large wave.

Friends immediately tried to rescue him, but he disappeared in the strong currents, the daily newspaper Les Nouvelles Calédoniennes reported.

He is still missing. Searchers could not go out at sea due to the rough conditions.

Sunday, a full alert was placed on the French territory's Loyalty Islands and Southern province, but was lifted on Monday.

School was disrupted for most of Monday.

No major structural damage has been reported.

Sose now is following a southerly track towards New Zealand.

Its intensity has still not decreased.


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