TONGA CLEANS UP AFTER DEVASTATING CYCLONE

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NUKU’ALOFA, Tonga: Residents in cyclone-devastated areas of Tonga launched a massive clean up on Monday, as officials said it was “a miracle” only one person died when the monster storm hit. Cyclone Ian, the most powerful hurricane ever to hit the tiny South Pacific kingdom, battered the central Ha’apai islands group over the weekend, unleashing more than 200 kilometers per hour winds. Tonga’s Director of Emergencies Leveni Aho said communications with the stricken island group were reestablished on Monday, confirming extensive damage in the area, which is home to some 8,000 people. Aho confirmed one death, reportedly a woman, but the potential loss of life could have been much worse given the scale of destruction. Winds brought by the cyclone uprooted trees, tore off roofs and flattened power lines as they blasted through Ha’apai’s main island of Lifuka.

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AFP

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