MORE ROADS COLLAPSE NEAR NOUMÉA BUILDING SITE

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NOUMÉA, New Caledonia (December 17, 2001 - Oceania Flash/SPC)---More roads in Nouméa's Baie des Citrons (Lemon Bay) have collapsed, as a result of construction under way in a nearby new residential area, the daily newspaper Les Nouvelles Calédoniennes reports.

The new incidents follow the collapse of a 30-meter (99-foot) portion of the same road on December 7.

Recent work had involved digging into a cliff, underneath the road, and sometimes using explosives, witnesses said.

"This whole question raises the issue of construction permits. We have to initiate a debate on the suitability of such works," Nouméa’s Mayor Jean Lèques said.

Meanwhile, the construction company has been working on rebuilding a hill and refilling the hole it dug just a few meters away, under the road.

After this is done, plans are to place huge rods and grills into the small hill to stabilize it and prevent further landslides along a 200-meter (660-foot) portion of the seafront.

Observers said the new collapses are the result of the initial incident and recent heavy rains in the capital area. 

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