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Pacific Island links: Cyclone Pam special

Pacific Island links: Cyclone Pam special
Published 18 Mar 2015 

  • Tropical Cyclone Pam devastated parts of the Pacific over the weekend. Vanuatu was hardest hit by the category 5 storm, one of the biggest the region has ever experienced. The death toll currently stands at 11 in Vanuatu, but this is expected to rise as contact is re-established with the outer islands.
  • Current reports state that up to 70 % of the population could be displaced.
  • There are grave fears for those in the southern islands that endured the eye of the storm. The first reports coming out of Tanna are that the people are in urgent need of assistance.
  • Jenny Hayward-Jones writes about the devastation and displacement of communities in Vanuatu, and the challenges facing recovery efforts.
  • The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs is releasing regular and detailed reports updating the situation.
  • Australia is increasing its support for Vanuatu as the scale of the disaster is becoming clearer.
  • Tuvalu, Solomon Islands and Kiribati were also badly impacted by the cyclone and now face food and water shortages. Tuvalu’s prime minister reported that up to 45% of the population has been displaced.
  • Andrew Freeman looks at whether climate change played a part in the severity of Cyclone Pam.
  • This is a good opportunity to revisit this analysis from Brookings on the role of regional organisations in building the disaster risk management capacity of Pacific Island countries.
  • If you would like to donate to Cyclone Pam relief efforts here is a list of registered charities.
  • Vanuatu’s President, Baldwin Lonsdale, gave an emotional interview on the situation in his country, saying that Vanuatu must now start again after the destruction of all their development progress:

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