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Australia to send aid to cyclone-hit Fiji

Australia has pledged emergency humanitarian relief for Fiji after a powerful cyclone hit the Pacific nation.

Yasa, one of the strongest cyclones recorded in the Pacific, made landfall on the northern island of Vanua Leva on Thursday evening, killing at least two people and destroying scores of homes.

It brought torrential rain and gusts up to 345km/h to the archipelago, which was already ravaged by Tropical Cyclone Harold in April.

Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne said leftover aid sent to Fiji in the aftermath of Harold was already being used to help meet the immediate needs of those affected by Yasa.

Australia was ready to send more supplies, such as tents, tarpaulins and hygiene kits, and help distribute them to the hard-hit outer islands, she said.

“Throughout our long history of co-operation, Fiji and Australia have become more than just neighbours – we are family,” Senator Payne said in a statement on Saturday.

“Our thoughts and condolences are with our Fijian vuvale following the loss of lives, damage to property and livelihoods.”

“The Australian government will assist the government of Fiji in whatever capacity we can.”

An Australian air force jet will also be deployed to help surveil storm-affected areas.

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