Tropical Cyclone Pam hit the Pacific island of Vanuatu last Saturday leaving devastation and deaths to this nation in the South Pacific. A state of emergency has now been declared.
Authorities compared the cyclone to the strength of Typhoon Haiyan which devastated the southern part of the Philippines in 2013.
The monster storm lashed the archipelago with winds up to 300 kilometers per hour and resulted to cutting of power lines, flattening of buildings, deaths and injuries, and left thousands homeless.
In Port Vila, the capital city, most buildings including hospitals and schools were destroyed.
As the search and rescue operations continue, the death and injury toll is still expected to rise.
In one of the interviews of New York Times, Oxfam Country Director Colin Collet van Rooven said, “The scale of this disaster is unprecedented in this country and the proud people of Vanuatu are going to need a lot of help to rebuild their homes and their lives.”
Vanuatu is a tropical nation but the local residents say this is the most damaging storm that they have experienced.
The nation’s President, Baldwin Lonsdale, has made an appeal for help since thousands of people are now homeless. In his emotional voice he said, “”I stand to appeal on behalf of the government and the people to give a helping hand in this disaster.”
Interesting Facts about the Republic of Vanuatu
- Port Vila is the capital city and main tourist destination
- Land area is 12,300 square kilometers
- Population is 267,00 people
- Located 2000 miles east of Australia
- In the north-east of New Caledonia; west of Fiji and south of Solomon Islands
- Consists of 65 islands
- People speak English, French, Chinese, Bislama and other local languages (100)
- Climate is warm and tropical
- Limited number of plants and animal species
- Indigenous animal is the flying fox or megabat
- Cultural belief: pigs are considered a symbol of wealth
- Tourism: known for warm water and world class sites for those who are interested in scuba diving