Water, medicines and temporary shelters have arrived in cyclone-struck Vanuatu , the first of tonnes of emergency aid desperately needed by the Pacific island country.
Military aircraft from Australia have been conducting aerial assessments of the damage from Cyclone Pam when 300 kilometre per hour winds struck..
Vanuatu has a population of around 267,000, spread over 65 islands. The death toll from Saturday morning’s storm is 24 and expected to rise.
Shaken Australian tourists returning home greeted loved ones with hugs and terrifying tales.
“It was… it was like gates of hell at your door trying to break it down. The freight train noise, the screaming at the windows, the doors. Our resort was very prepared. We were very, very lucky compared to what’s there and what we’ve left, and what the locals have to live with,” said tourist Charlene Spiteri.
Like some many Jane Newsome was more concerned about those she’s left behind:
“The villages, all the trees have gone, they’ve got no shelter, so they’re trying to get tarpaulin. So can I please say, please help them, anything.”
At least 3,300 people have been left homeless after the cyclone destroyed homes, flattened buildings and washed away roads.
But it won’t be until contact is made with the outer islands that the full extent of the disaster will be known.
USA (@greenpeaceusa) March 16, 2015