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French PM to visit hurricane-hit Caribbean islands

Published on Tuesday, August 21, 2007Email To Friend    Print Version

PARIS, France (Reuters):  Prime Minister Francois Fillon will fly to the French Caribbean islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe on Wednesday and Thursday to visit areas that were ravaged by Hurricane Dean, his office said on Monday.

Prime Minister Francois Fillon. AFP PHOTO
The powerful hurricane, which bore down on Mexican beach resorts on Monday, hit Martinique and other Caribbean islands on Friday as a Category 2 storm.

Pounding Martinique and the nearby island of Guadeloupe with 100 mph (160 kph) 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 nearby Guadeloupe, the head of the banana producers' union said on Saturday.

Interior Minister Michele Alliot-Marie's office said on Monday experts would go to the area to assess the nature and cost of the damage caused by the hurricane.

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