Published on 14th March 2015
VSA CYCLONE PAM UPDATE, SAT 6.00PM NZ TIME:
We have now established the safety of 18 of our 23 volunteers and staff, including in Santo and Luganville and most in Port Vila. We also have volunteers in Pentecost, Malekula and Tanna, where communications are still down. Communications are likely to be restored first to Port Vila, the centre of government. We are working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and with other NGOs as part of our efforts to establish the safety of our volunteers.
Luganville and Santo (4pm Sat, NZ time):
Just a short update to add to the one posted at 1pm NZ time. Andrew Johnston, our Vanuatu Programme Manager, reports that people are starting to use chainsaws to clear the fallen trees and material from the roads. The hospital is operational (they have a generator).
Port Vila (3.30pm Sat, NZ time):
We are grateful to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Society for phoning us with the below update on Port Vila, which was from Aurélia Balpe, Head of Regional Office, Pacific, after a survey of the city by someone on the ground:
• Scale of damage is significant. Some permanent houses have been damaged and most semi-permanent and informal housing have been damaged or destroyed.
• No communication through the national radio. Shops are closed, weather is cloudy with heavy rain. Heavy flooding in low lying areas.
• Some damage to the hospital including the medical, surgical and children’s ward.
• Most of the people had moved ahead of the cyclone to evacuation centres.
• Port Vila airport - no visible damage on the runway.
• No water in Port Vila and water sources may be damaged.
• Shelter, water and health are going to be the key priorities.
We will keep you posted. Our thoughts are with our volunteers and the people of Vanuatu.