Cyclone Tomas forces Fiji to declare state of disaster

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Suva (Fiji), Mar. 16 (ANI): Fiji's National Disaster Council has declared a state of disaster as the worst cyclone in decades leaves a trail of destruction through the Pacific Ocean archipelago.

The council, led by the country's interim leader Voreqe Bainimarama met early today as cyclone Tomas, a category four hurricane, continued to batter the country.

At least 10,000 people were evacuated from the northern and eastern islands, and a number of people were killed.

One woman drowned in rough seas off the island of Vanua Levu as the cyclone approached on Sunday.

National Disaster Management Office operations officer Anthony Blake said: "We have so far got a tally of over 50 homes destroyed - a very serious issue. We expect these figures to increase for the next few days." (ANI)

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