While the focus has been on devastation in neighbouring Vanuatu, Tuvalu -- a grouping of nine coral atolls with a population of less than 11,000 -- is also struggling to cope, he told Radio New Zealand International.
"Forty five percent of the population of Tuvalu, most of whom are on the outer islands, have been affected, badly, severely affected," he said of the island chain some 1,550 kilometres (960 miles) northeast of Vanuatu.
"We are worried about the aftermath in terms of hygiene and supplies of essential materials like food, medicine and water."
Few details of the impact were given. But Sopoaga said most people living on the outer islands of the ex-British colony formerly known as the Ellice Islands had been affected, with houses and crops washed away....