THREE CYCLONES THREATEN PACIFIC; WALLIS AND FUTUNA HIT

MELBOURNE, Australia (January 7, 1998 - Radio Australia)---In the French territory of Wallis and Futuna, Cyclone Ron has caused heavy damage to Wallis and still threatens Futuna with waves of up to 29 feet.

Officials say residents remain on maximum alert.

There were no casualties as Cyclone Ron passed over Wallis, but it caused widespread damage, disrupting electric power and water supplies, knocking down trees, and blowing roofs off homes.

At last report, the cyclone, packing winds of 108 miles an hour, was situated 80 miles south of Wallis, heading southwest on a course to miss Futuna by 160 miles.

Futuna’s 5,000 residents, concentrated along the coast, have begun moving to higher land.

Meantime, Cyclone Susan has claimed the life of a woman on a Vanuatu island.

Officials in the capital, Port Vila, say the 29-year-old woman died when winds of more than 130 miles an hour slammed into Ambrym Island. They say the woman was hit by an uprooted tree in the village of Port Vato.

Cyclone Susan and Cyclone Katrina also have begun to affecting parts of the Solomon Islands and the Coral Sea.

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