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Cyclone Devastates South Seas Island

December 29, 1986|From Reuters

PARIS — Cyclone Raja tore through the tiny French Pacific island of Futuna, killing at least one person, destroying buildings and devastating crops, an Overseas Territories Ministry official said Sunday.

The ministry official said the number of casualties was not yet known because there was only intermittent radio contact with Futuna, about 1,600 miles northeast of Australia.

Initial reports indicated one person dead and two injured on the island, which has a population of 4,200.

Cyclone Raja, with winds of well over 110 miles per hour, swept over the island two days in a row. The storm was reported moving toward Fiji, though officials said it could turn back toward Futuna.

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