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Dean caused 500m euro damage in French Caribbean
Published on Thursday, August 30, 2007Email To Friend    Print Version

PARIS, France (Reuters):  Hurricane Dean caused damage of around 500 million euros ($679.7 million) on Martinique and Guadeloupe when it hit the French Caribbean islands earlier this month, the French government said on Wednesday.

Overseas Minister Christian Estrosi said insurers would likely pay 185 million euros ($251.5 million) of the damage, with the remaining sum being paid by companies, local communities, the European Union and the French state.

"The state will make sure -- it's a commitment by the president (Nicolas Sarkozy) -- that Martinique and Guadeloupe will lack nothing," Estrosi said after meeting lawmakers from the islands.

The powerful hurricane pounded Martinique and the nearby island of Guadeloupe this month with 100 mph winds and torrential rains that triggered landslides. It lifted roofs off houses and knocked out power.

The hurricane destroyed all of Martinique's banana crop and 80 percent of the plantations in Guadeloupe, the head of the banana producers' union has said.

Estrosi said the government would make sure problems caused by the storm would be resolved within the next three months.

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