— Published 22 May 2023

Surfing site hit by flooding

Hard time in Tahiti. Two major floods of the Fauoro River, which have occurred within a week of each other since the beginning of May, have affected the Teahupoo site, where the surfing events of the Paris 2024 Games are to be held. The first floods, on 1 May, destroyed around 50 houses and swept a dozen cars out to sea. According to the inhabitants, the construction of a new footbridge to access the beach during the Olympic Games was partly responsible for the flooding. During a visit to the families affected by the floods, the new Minister of Youth and Sports of Polynesia, Nahema Temarii, even raised the possibility of revoking Tahiti’s commitment to organise the surfing event. A possibility quickly dismissed by the new president of French Polynesia, Moetai Brotherson. “We will do everything possible to ensure that the Games take place here,” he assured the local media at the end of last week. Barbara Martins-Nio, the person in charge of the site for the Paris 2024 OCOG, has the same reassuring tone.We have not been affected by the floods because the area chosen for the centre is unsinkable,” she said, quoted by AFP. The IOC, the Paris 2024 OCOG and the International Surfing Federation (ISA) will each contribute €10,000 to support residents affected by the floods.