New Caledonia

Alerts lifted in New Caledonia as Cyclone Gita moves away

Initial reports say the category three storm caused no serious damage.

It passed as forecast to the south of the Isle of Pines which was the only part of the territory on full alert.

The system brought gales of up to 130 km an hour as well as heavy rain.

Hilary Roots, who lives on the Isle of Pines, said Cyclone Gita was frightening as it passed through Friday night.

She said there was less rain than forecast but there were very strong wind gusts.

Ms Roots said the eye passed a hundred kilometres to south of the Isle.

Storm surges and damage likely as Gita reaches New Caledonia

Forecaster Rajneel Prasad said gale force winds may affect Noumea as the cyclone approaches.

He said the location of tropical cyclone Gita was 480km east of Noumea at 6am (Fiji time) this morning.

It is expected to track west and southwest from its current location and will pass over the southeast islands of New Caledonia over the next day or so.

Activities at sea are banned on New Caledonia's Isle of Pines and people were being advised to board up their houses and secure their livestock.

A pre-alert remains in place for the rest of the territory.

Cyclone Fehi fizzles out off of New Caledonia

Forecasters at the Fiji Meteorological Service say Fehi ceased being a cyclone around midday yesterday.

The low pressure system however continues to bring bad weather to parts of Melanesia with heavy rain still affecting parts of Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and New Caledonia.

Regional disaster authorities have been urging people to take heed of weather warnings and make sure they have all the necessary safety equipment if they are heading out to sea.

     

Category 1 cyclone off New Caledonia

According to the New Zealand Met Service, Fehi is moving in a south-southeast direction and is expected to pass to the west of New Caledonia.

It is currently a category one cyclone, according to the Service, is not expected to intensify.

New Caledonia's met service describes the system as a weak low.

It said, however, people in the northern half of the main island and those along the east coast will get up to 200mm of rain and experience gusts of up to 100 kilometres an hour.

Fire damages New Caledonia top resort

The blaze at the Sheraton Deva prompted a call-out of firefighters from nearby Bourail as well as from Kone and La Foa.

The president of the southern province Philippe Michel said tourists had caused the fire.

He said cleaners had seen them ignite fireworks despite a formal ban on their use.

There was no report about how costly the damage to the resort, which opened in 2014, would be.

     

New Caledonia extends medals lead at Mini Games

Les Cagous added six more gold medals to their tally on Saturday to take their total haul to 24.

The French territory won a further three gold medals in karate, the women's doubles in table tennis and the men's and women's individual titles in golf.

Fiji has leapfrogged Papua New Guinea and Samoa into second place with 15 gold medals after winning four para titles in table tennis.

PNG have been joined on 14 gold medals by Samoa, who beat Fiji to retain their rugby sevens title.

New Caledonia celebrates gold clean sweep in karate

New Caledonia claimed the spoils in the Female Team Kata, Female Team Kumite, Male Team Kata, Male Open Kumite and the Male Team Kumite events.

New Caledonia’s Iwe ReneHmana defeated Nigel Bana from Papua New Guinea to win gold in the Male Open Kumite, leaving Bana withsilver.

In the Male Team Kata event, New Caledonia won gold and Vanuatu picked up silver. New Caledonia also beat Vanuatu in the Male Team Kumite. Vanuatu claimed silver and Papua New Guinea bronze.

New Caledonia take medals lead at Mini Games

The French territory has 18 gold medals in all, after winning seven of the eight events on the first day of karate.

Les Cagous added seven gold medals in karate to the 10 they scooped up in judo.

The only break in their dominance came from Vanuatu's Vamule Lango, who won gold in the female kumite 61kg division.

New Caledonia picked up another gold medal in tennis, edging Solomon Islands 2-1 in the final of the women's team event.

New Caledonia jails Vietnamese poachers

Their boats were intercepted by the French navy off Belep last week and escorted to Noumea.

The captains were immediately tried and imprisoned while the 30 crew would be deported to Vietnam.

The boats were found to have beche-de-mer on board as well as shark fins, which are reportedly worth about $US700 a kilogramme.

Shark finning is prohibited in New Caledonia.

Earlier this year, New Caledonia and other areas in Melanesia were targetted by dozens of Vietnamese blue boats.

 

 

 

Photo: AFP A Vietnamese "blue boat". 

Shark finning discovered in New Caledonia

Last week, the French navy intercepted two blue boats off Belep and found that they had beche-de-mer on board.

Now television reports say shark fins, which are reportedly worth about $US 700 a kilogramme, have also been found on the vessels.

Shark finning is prohibited in New Caledonia.

The French High Commission says the boats and their 30 crew are being towed to Noumea.

Earlier this year there were multiple arrests in New Caledonia where French naval surveillance spotted dozens of boats in operation.