Cyclone Freda reaches New Caledonia
This NASA image released on December 29, 2012 from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite shows Tropical Cyclone Freda over the Solomon Islands
The Pacific Tropical Cyclone Freda has pummelled the French territory of New Caledonia after causing extensive flooding in the Solomon Islands.
Radio New Zealand reports the Fiji Metservice as saying Freda had been upgraded to a Category 4 storm but had reached its maximum intensity and was expected to weaken as it moved south.
There were no reports of casualties in the Solomon Islands where Jared Berends, a spokesman for World Vision, told Radio New Zealand that initial assessments indicated most of the damage was from widespread flooding in remote outlying islands.
Freda is the second tropical cyclone of the southern hemisphere summer in the Pacific. It follows Evan, which caused extensive damage and loss of life in Samoa and Fiji.