Alert lifted in New Caledonia as tropical depression passes

from Agence France-Presse
Published on 31 Jan 2003
NOUMEA, Jan 31 (AFP) - A maximum alert has been lifted in New Caledonia after a tropical depression left the area without causing any damage, the high commission announced on Friday.

The alert was lifted at 6:30 pm (0730 GMT), the commission said, with former Cyclone Beni, downgraded to a strong tropical depression overnight, about 80 kilometres (50 miles) south of the French Pacific territory and heading out to sea.

The cyclone, which was whipping up winds of 200 kilometres (124 miles) per hour on Wednesday, brushed the Loyaute islands but did not cause any injuries, although there were electricity cuts and several homes were damaged.

The Pacific islands are frequently battered by storms. Cyclone Ami claimed 14 lives in Fiji in mid-January.

hl/th/cl AFP

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Received by NewsEdge Insight: 01/31/2003 04:53:52

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