Cyclone Oli smashes French Polynesia


Hundreds of tourists were taken to emergency centres as severe Cyclone Oli hit French Polynesia this morning.

This morning Oli was 250 kilometres south west of Bora Bora and moving south east.

Around 650 tourists have been evacuated from Bora Bora.

Auckland Regional Council chairman Mike Lee, who was on the Tetiaroa, north of Tahiti, was among a group of New Zealanders flown to the main island by the French Military ahead of the cyclone.

No one has been killed in the storm, but French High Commissioner said a person has been injured by flying roof material and a fisherman had to be rescued at sea.

Magali Charbonneau, a senior adviser to the region’s top French official, told RFO radio that tourists and locals were being housed in churches and schools during the storm.

She said waves of up to eight metres high were expected.

Winds last night were expected to average 150 kilometres an hour, with gusts at 200 kilometres an hour, and were expected to pick up speed.