New Caledonia

New Caledonia man trapped in bus luggage hold

Reports say the man travelled almost 300 kilometres from Koumac to Boulouparis where he tried to get his bags from deep within the bus.

Unaware of him, the driver shut the hold remotely and continued the journey towards Noumea.

The man's daughter said he called her using his mobile phone, upon which she unsuccessfully tried to call the driver.

She then contacted the police who intercepted the bus and freed the man after he had travelled 30 kilometres locked up.

 

     

Trio have cocaine sentences lengthened in New Caledonia

The captain, who is a 70-year old from the Netherlands, has been jailed for nine years, which is two years more than the sentence in the criminal court earlier this year.

The other two, a 54-year-old from Peru and a 39-year-old from Poland, have each been given seven-year jail terms.

According to Les Nouvelles Caledoniennes, the trio had earlier also been fined more than $US25 million.

The street value of the drugs was estimated to be about $US450 million.

Cyclone Hola bears down on New Caledonia

The cyclone, which caused damage in Vanuatu's northern islands, re-intensified into a category 3 overnight, with sustained winds of about 150km/h at its centre.

At 6 o'clock this morning, local time, (8am NZT) Hola was about 90 kilometres northeast of Lifou, and is expected to pass close to the island of Mare today.

On Mare, electricity supplies have already been cut off and winds in excess of 100 km/h have been reported as well as swells of six to eight metres.

On the main island, well to the west of the cyclone, as much as 200mm of rain was recorded overnight.

New Caledonia goes to highest alert ahead of Hola

It has declared a level two alert to apply in Ouvea at 4pm (New Zealand time) and in Mare at 7pm.

The cyclone weakened earlier today to a category three as it moved away from Vanuatu.

And while it is more than 300 kilometres from Vanuatu, it is still bringing gale force winds, thunderstorms and a threat of flooding.

Forecasters said the cyclone is likely to weaken further later today.

Meanwhile, people in the Loyalty Island group have been preparing for the arrival of Hola.

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.