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Page last updated at 08:15 GMT, Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Fiji declares state of emergency as Cyclone Tomas hits

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Cyclone causes state of emergency in parts of Fiji

A state of emergency has been declared in northern and eastern parts of Fiji, after Cyclone Tomas blasted through the Pacific island nation.

The National Disaster Council said troops would take food, water and other necessities to worst-hit areas.

At least 17,000 people fled to evacuation shelters as the storm passed. One death has been reported and communications to some islands are cut.

Cyclone Tomas, a category four storm, is expected to weaken as it moves away.

The eastern Lau group of islands bore the brunt of the storm and the country's second largest island, Vanua Levu, was also hard-hit.

There is particular concern about the islands of Cikobia and Qelelevu; nothing has been heard from them since the cyclone hit there on Monday.

Map

Reports from northern Fiji say houses and crops have been damaged by wind, and that some buildings were washed away by floods. Sea surges of up to 7m (23ft) were reported in some areas.

Across the country schools have closed and public services have been suspended. However international flights have resumed from the main airport in Nadi.

National Disaster Management Office spokesman Anthony Blake said an aerial survey of the damage would be done on Wednesday.


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FROM OTHER NEWS SITES
China Post State of disaster declared in cyclone-hit Fiji - 15 hrs ago
IOL Fiji declares state of emergency for aid - 23 hrs ago
The Independent Fiji declares a state of emergency for cyclone aid - 23 hrs ago
CBC Cyclone Tomas batters Fiji - 28 hrs ago
Mail Online UK Fiji hit by 130mph winds and giant waves as Cyclone Tomas rolls in - 43 hrs ago


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