Sunday, 15 March 2015

Vanuatu's President calls for help after cyclone hit country

Storm damage in Port Vila, Vanuatu. 14 March 2015

Many of us may never have heard about Vanuatu. Located about a quarter of the way from Australia to Hawaii, Vanuatu has a population of 267,000 spread over 65 islands. About 47,000 people live in the capital, Port Vila. 

After what is now known as Cyclone Pam, ripped destructively through through the Pacific island cluster or archipelago, Vanuatu's President Baldwin Lonsdale has called for international help.

Aid agencies say the cyclone, which veered off its expected course on Saturday and struck populated areas, has caused "complete devastation".

Save the Children says eight people are confirmed dead but it is feared dozens more may have been killed.

Many residents there have spent a second night in emergency shelters after finding their homes destroyed.

"A disaster of this magnitude has not been experienced by Vanuatu in recent history - particularly in terms of the reach of the potential damage and the ferocity of the storm," said Sune Gudnitz, head of the agency's Pacific office.

Destruction caused by Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu, 14 March 2015

Cyclone Pam batters Port Vila, Vanuatu. 14 March 2015

Storm damage in Port Vila, Vanuatu. 14 March 2015