Kiwis take part in special Oxfam Trailwalker in Taupō to raise funds for families living in poverty
As aid begins to reach communities across Vanuatu, Oxfam New Zealand have spoken to their development partner Farm Support Association (FSA) to understand the longer term impact Cyclone Pam will have on a society which lives mostly off farming. We heard that the cyclone has come at a very bad time; farmers who had planted vegetables would have lost all their crops.
Aid is beginning to reach the hard hit southern Vanuatu islands of Tanna and Erromango, which both took the full force of the 250kmh Cyclone Pam, after rapid assessments of the islands showed absolute devastation with entire villages destroyed.
As the death toll from Cyclone Pam begins to rise reports are now coming out of the small southern Vanuatu island of Tanna that there is almost no food or clean water and very little medical assistance for the 30,000 people who live there.
Oxfam’s 10 person team in Vanuatu is reporting damage to major infrastructure like the hospital, the morgue and schools as the picture of complete devastation in Vanuatu now begins to unfold.
Up to 90 per cent of housing in Vanuatu's capital is reported to have been seriously damaged by Cyclone Pam, with still no information from the extremely vulnerable outer islands which are home to 33,000 people.
Stories of complete devastation are beginning to come out of Vanuatu in the aftermath of the severe tropical cyclone Pam. Oxfam staff on the ground in Port Vila have reported complete destruction of homes, three storey high trees completely uprooted and small communities with barely any houses left standing.
After a last minute change of course to the west Cyclone Pam made a direct hit on Vanuatu last night, tearing through the archipelago with winds of up to 250kmh. With more than 250,000 people at risk from the severe tropical cyclone there is real concern of a potentially high death toll and of enormous destruction, particularly given the traditional housing that is so prevalent through the islands.
Oxfam is ready to respond to Cyclone Pam after the storm was upgraded to a severe Category 5 tropical cyclone overnight, triggering evacuations to emergency shelters across Vanuatu’s southern provinces. Forecasts predict the storm will pass close to Vanuatu’s capital Port Vila.
Oxfam is on standby to respond to Cyclone Pam, as latest forecasts predict the storm will pass close to Vanuatu’s capital Port Vila, the city recently named as the most exposed to natural disasters in the world.