Tags: cyclone | pam | vanuatu | monster | destroy

Cyclone Pam Vanuatu: 90 Percent of Capital City's Buildings Destroyed

Image: Cyclone Pam Vanuatu: 90 Percent of Capital City's Buildings Destroyed
Adrian Banga surveys his destroyed house in Port Villa, capital of Vanuatu, 16 March 2015. (Dave Hunt/EPA/Landov)

By    |   Monday, 16 Mar 2015 03:35 PM

A monster tropical cyclone known as Pam hit Vanuatu in the South Pacific on Friday, killing at least eight people and leaving behind a wake of massive destruction.

The category 5 Tropical Cyclone destroyed or damaged 90 percent of the buildings in the country’s capital city of Port Vila, The Associated Press reported.

"This is a very devastating cyclone in Vanuatu,” President Baldwin Lonsdale said, according to the AP. “I term it as a monster, a monster. It's a setback for the government and for the people of Vanuatu. After all the development that has taken place, all this development has been wiped out."





Lonsdale was attending a disaster conference in Japan when the cyclone hit and wasn’t able to verify whether his family is safe. He is appealing for humanitarian aid.

Vanuatu’s population is about 267,000 spread over 65 islands. At least half of the population has been affected by the monster cyclone, ABC News reported.

“It’s becoming increasingly clear that we are now dealing with worse than the worst-case scenario in Vanuatu,” Oxfam Australia Executive Director Helen Szoke said, according to ABC News.

The death toll is expected to rise as authorities and aid workers reach all of the islands, where communication has been cut off.

Power lines were down in Port Vila and a bridge in the city was also damaged.

"This isn't just some rickety bridge, it's made of concrete and steel, and now there's just steel girders sticking out. It really shows the sheer force of the storm," Unicef worker Alice Clements told the BBC.

Among those affected by the storm are about 54,000 children, Unicef said in a blog on its website.

Aid workers face mounting challenges.

"The population is low but it is scattered over a very large area, on different islands. Communication channels are down and there is no phone coverage. So it's very difficult to move simple things from point A to point B," Unicef specialist Mioh Nemoto said in a blog post.

Twitter users sent their support to the people of Vanuatu.







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A monster tropical cyclone known as Pam hit Vanuatu in the South Pacific on Friday, killing at least eight people and leaving behind a wake of massive destruction.
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2015-35-16
Monday, 16 Mar 2015 03:35 PM
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