Cyclone Cook claims one life in New Caledonia

THE body of a 73-year-old man has been found a day after he went missing during Cyclone Cook in New Caledonia.

The man, from the Kouaoua area, reportedly tried to reach a friend’s home at the start of the category 3 storm but was swept away by a rising river.

His body was found several kilometres downstream.

Reports said the man went to look for keys to a house during the cyclone and never returned.

According to the public broadcaster, Cyclone Cook, which struck on Monday, caused substantial damage in isolated communities near the east coast.

It also reported that some houses on Lifou lost their roofs.

Power had been restored to just about all of the tens of thousands who lost electricity.

The storm’s centre passed about 100 kilometres away from the capital Noumea.

The broadcaster said eight prison inmates, who were caught as they were trying to escape during the storm, would face further sanctions.