CARE launches appeal for help following ‘utter devastation’ in Vanuatu

By CARE Australia March 14, 2015 6 comments

CARE Australia has launched an appeal for urgent support following the devastation of Category Five Tropical Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu.

Cyclone Pam has hit Vanuatu with devastating force over the past 24 hours, with sustained wind speeds over 260 kilometres an hour leaving large parts of the island nation cut off.

The number of people and communities affected by Pam remains unknown with much of the country cut off from communications and transport, but Vanuatu’s entire population of 250,000 people are expected to have been hit by Pam’s fury.

Charlie Damon, Program Manager for CARE International in Vanuatu, said that in the capital Port Vila, which was under the eye of the storm late on Friday night, people were beginning to emerge from emergency shelters to scenes of terrifying destruction.

‘While we are only just beginning to get out beyond the outskirts of Port Vila, it is very clear that Cyclone Pam has hit Vanuatu with devastating force,’ said Ms Damon from Port Vila.

‘Homes have been blown to pieces, and even evacuation shelters, where people had sought refuge, have been flooded and left exposed to Cyclone Pam. If this is the level of impact in communities where emergency shelters were an option, we are deeply concerned about what has happened in remote communities without them.’

Ms Damon said the storm was the strongest cyclone to hit Vanuatu in recorded history, and was still tracking its way slowly across the island nation’s southern provinces.

‘Much of Vanuatu remains cut off, and Tafea Province, where CARE has been working for many years now, has this morning borne the brunt of this ferocious cyclone. We’re beginning to plan our response based on the likelihood of massive destruction of many communities in Cyclone Pam’s path.’

CARE has worked in Vanuatu since 2008, focusing on building resilience to disasters and climate change shocks, and increasing women and girls’ involvement in community leadership. CARE Australia is an international humanitarian aid organisation fighting poverty, with a special focus on working with women and girls to bring lasting change to their communities.

Donate to the Cyclone Pam response

6 Comments Leave new

Steven King Mar 19 2015 at 09:03

I want to make a donation specifically aimed at helping the people of Tanna. How do I ensure my donation reaches these people as they have a special place in my heart? Also, are you able to confirm if the resort White Grass Ocean Resort was destroyed by the cyclone? I was particularly impressed with their support of local Tannese people.

Reply
Heather Murphy Mar 25 2015 at 01:03

Hi Steven,

Thank you for your enquiry. All donations made to our Cyclone Pam Appeal help CARE’s emergency response in Vanuatu, which is concentrated in Tafea province, where Tanna is located. In Tafea province, we are the lead agency responding to deliver food, shelter and measures to improve water, sanitation and hygiene. Sorry we’re unable to give you an update on damage to specific buildings. If you would like more info on our response to Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu or you’d like to make a donation, please visit www.care.org.au/pam. With thanks, the CARE Team.

jason hopwood Mar 18 2015 at 07:03

Would love to help with the clean up effort for approx 5 days over the easter break. I own a food wholesale company & am handy with tools. Regards jason

Reply
Heather Murphy Mar 19 2015 at 01:03

Hi Jason,

Thanks very much for your offer to help in Vanuatu. CARE Australia has deployed a number of highly skilled staff who are trained in emergency response work and we aren’t recruiting any additional staff or volunteers at this time.

If you would like to support our emergency response in Vanuatu by making a donation, please visit www.care.org.au/pam.

Thanks again,

The CARE Team

ANDY Mar 15 2015 at 04:03

I'M A PARAMEDIC WILLING TO GO AND HELP IN VANUATU, JUST WONDERING HOW TO GET THROUGH TO THE RIGHT PERSON.

THANKS.

Reply
Heather Murphy Mar 19 2015 at 01:03

Hi Andy,

Thanks very much for your offer to help in Vanuatu. CARE Australia has deployed a number of highly skilled staff who are trained in emergency response work and we aren’t recruiting any additional staff or volunteers at this time.

If you would like to support our emergency response in Vanuatu by making a donation, please visit www.care.org.au/pam.

Thanks again,

The CARE Team

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