Paris dispatches support to Reunion after cyclone

Report
from Pan African News Agency
Published on 23 Jan 2002
By Christophe Rocheland
PANA correspondent
Saint Denis, Reunion (PANA) - French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin Wednesday ordered the dispatching an airforce plane with 200 experts to Reunion where cyclone Dina caused untold casualties Tuesday.

He said 120 civil security men, 50 agents of France's Electricity Intervention Force and the Overseas Minister, Christian Paul, will be sent to Reunion.

An official statement said France has also granted Reunion's prefect for extreme emergency rescue in most difficult situations.

Meanwhile, French President Jacques Chirac expressed "deep personal sympathy" and the "the nation's entire solidarity" to with the people of Reunion.

The first group of firemen was expected to fly from Marseille-Marignane airport late Wednesday to Reunion.

The severe tropical cyclone swept the island in Tuesday afternoon, brushing the Northeast of the island and leaving substantial casualty in its wake.

It also caused substantial damage to public buildings, roads, railways, waterways, electricity and water supply networks.

Reunion motorists have been asked not to use their cars as several roads are unsafe with trees, electrical wires and rocks strewn on them.

Some 2,500 people were still homeless at reception centres on Monday morning.

Over 66 percent of homes, containing 160,000 families are without electricity while 25 percent have no water supply.

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Pan African News Agency:

Copyright

All PANA content and graphics is protected by copyright and international treaties and may not be copied, reproduced or re-used for any purpose without written permission.