andlt;strongandgt;Tropical Cyclone Erica andlt;/strongandgt;(22P), satellite image,on 13 March 2003. North is at top. Erica peaked asa powerful Category 5 cyclone on 12 March 2003.One day later it hit the French Pacific island ofNew Caledonia. The eye of the cyclone (surroundedby swirls of dense clouds) is seen north-west ofNew Caledonia, moving to the south. It devastatedthe western coast of the island, destroyinghouses, power lines and trees, with winds speedsup to 250 kilometres an hour. At least two peopledied, and many were injured and left homeless. Acyclone is a large rotating storm system, formingfrom strong evaporation over warm tropical waters.Image from the MODIS sensor on NASAandamp;apos;s Terrasatellite.