CYCLONE YALI HITS VANUATU, THEN WEAKENS

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PORT VILA, Vanuatu (March 23, 1998 - Radio Australia)---Cyclone Yali hit Vanuatu Sunday, causing flooding and property damage and leaving at least 100 people homeless on the main island of Éfaté.

There are not reports of deaths or injuries.

The southern Vanuatu islands were hardest hit, with reports of extensive crop damage and many small homes destroyed on Tanna and Aniwa.

The cyclone had peak wind gusts of 130 kilometers (78 miles) per hour.

The Director of Vanuatu's National Disaster Management Office, Job Esau, says the New Zealand Air Force has been asked to send an aircraft for aerial reconnaissance and an inspection team is preparing to visit the affected southern islands.

Cyclone Yali has moved to the south-east of the archipelago and now is reported to be weakening.

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