Disaster funds

New Caledonia releases funds to cyclone-hit areas

President Philippe Germain has released a million US dollars, which means that 23 communities will each receive $US4500 for urgent repairs.

The category 3 storm crossed the main island Grande Terre, damaging homes, uprooting trees, downing power lines and destroying crops.

Mr Germain said additional funding would be given by the three provincial governments while damage assessments are continuing.

He said he had also approached the French High Commission, asking for a declaration of natural disaster in order to trigger the release of more emergency assistance.