The South Pacific archipelago of Vanuatu has been left in complete devastation after it was hit by cyclone Pam on Saturday. The capital of Vanuatu, Port Villa, found its houses completely destroyed, and people wandered around the streets begging for help. Currently, eight people have been confirmed dead, but the UN has stated that there are likely to be dozens more fatalities, as well as many severe injuries.
Chloe Morrison, who is an emergency communications officer for World Vision, has said that in many remote areas, entire villages have been destroyed. Although the damage may seem quite extensive in Port Villa itself, there are many vulnerable islands that have most likely experienced the worst of the cyclone. Residents of Port Villa have described the incident as 15-30 minutes of pure terror.
It will be several days before the total extent of the devastation is known, and currently, communications are down across most of the country. Unconfirmed reports are showing that there are currently a possible 44 fatalities from cyclone Pam in the Penama province, north-east of Vanuatu.Vivien Maidaborn, the executive director for Unicef in New Zealand, has claimed that early reports are showing that this is possibly one of the worst natural disasters to ever have been experienced in this region, since records began.
Thousands of people were evacuated to emergency shelters, but many were left to ride out the storm in their homes. All six of the provinces of Vanuatu are currently on red alert, meaning that people should seek immediate shelter until the change of danger has gone.