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06 Feb 1998 description

(5:27pm AEDT)

The South Pacific Forum Secretariat in Fiji has released ten-thousand dollars from a special disaster fund to help Tonga with its cyclone recovery efforts.

The moves follows a request from Tonga for help in the wake of Cyclone Ron which hit early last month.

The cyclone struck the northern islands of Niuafo'ou and Tafahi, causing widespread damage to buildings and crops.

05 Feb 1998 description

The authorities in Tonga say the two northern most islands of the kingdom, hit by tropical Cyclone Ron last month, will need over 147-thousand dollars in food relief over the next few months.

Radio Tonga says the islands - Niuatoputapu and Niuafo'ou - face a severe food shortage.

It says relief assistance of food, clothes and tents donated by churches, business groups and local communties will be exhausted by end of this month.

The National Disaster Relief Committee estimates a six-month food shortage, beginning next month.