A family stands outside their damaged home after Cyclone Winston swept through Ba on the northern side Fiji's Viti Levu Island, February 22, 2016. REUTERS/Jay Dayal/Handout via Reuters
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Tourists began fleeing cyclone-ravaged Fiji Monday and aid efforts intensified as the death toll climbed to 20, with officials warning it could rise further as reports trickle in from devastated remote communities.Aerial photographs revealed entire villages were flattened when severe tropical cyclone Winston struck overnight Saturday, lashing the Pacific island nation with gusts of 325 kilometers (202 miles) per hour. Care Australia disaster response coordinator Sarah Boxall said up to 6,000 people were still in evacuation centers and would need basics such as food, water and medical supplies.The nation has declared a month-long state of natural disaster after a storm that Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama described as an "assault on Fiji".Bainimarama, who has mobilized police and the military to help relief efforts, said he was determined to get Fiji back on its feet. Lubrani said Fiji formally requested international assistance Monday and the U.N. was helping coordinate the response.
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