A photo and video essay on The Weather Network is documenting the depth of the devastation after Cyclone Pam ripped through the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu March 13.
“Aerial footage showed many homes entirely obliterated by the strong wind gusts of up to 300 kilometres per hour—equivalent to a category 5 hurricane. A state of emergency was declared for all 65 islands after Pam destroyed most of capital city Port Vila,” TWN reports.
“The Australian Red Cross said the islands had suffered ‘unbelievable destruction’, with people sheltering in caves in some areas.” Photos by Australian pilot William Dyer show large areas of land that “appear to be completely deforested.”
On The Huffington Post yesterday, the Associated Press reported on the recovery effort in an “extremely resilient” country. “The signs of progress are everywhere,” AP writes, but “the task remains enormous.
“Many of the outlying islands still don’t have any way to communicate with the outside world, while tourism, vital to the economy, has taken a huge hit, with many operators fielding call after call to cancel bookings. Throughout Vanuatu, many people remain worried about the most basic necessities: water, shelter, and food.”
The latest casualty count stands at 17 dead and 65,000 homeless, according to AP.