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More than a month’s worth of rain in 6 hours hits New Caledonia


Heavy rains from April 19 to 20, 2020 triggered dangerous flash flooding and landslides in New Caledonia. The Hienghene commune in the North Province recorded almost 200 mm (7.9 inches) of rain in just six hours– more than the country's average rain for the month of April.

Days of heavy rain triggered flash flooding which submerged bridges and roads in parts of the country. Floodwaters blocked roads, leaving the affected communities isolated. Several landslides were also reported.

Authorities declared a "dangerous meteorological event" on Monday, April 20 for several communes including Hienghene, Poindimie, Houailou, Canala, and Thio.

In Paita, two people went missing after being washed away by floods, but both were eventually found safe. Meanwhile, in Pouembout, three people were successfully rescued from raging waters.

In Hienghene, nearly 200 mm (7.9 inches) of rain fell in just six hours, surpassing the country's average rainfall for the month of April which is 130 mm (5.1 inches).

According to Meteo France, it will be cloudy with a chance of showers in Hienghene on Wednesday afternoon, April 22.

Most of the country can expect light rains into Thursday. Sunny and cloudy weather is forecast from Friday to Saturday, April 24 to 25.

Featured image credit: Gendarmerie of New Caledonia

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