Saturday, March 14, 2015

Vanuatu devastated by one of the strongest tropical cyclones in Pacific; at least eight dead

Yahoo News via 7 News: At least eight people have died in Vanuatu, a senior aid official says, in one of the strongest tropical cyclones to have hit the South Pacific. It comes amid unconfirmed reports that more than 40 people may have perished elsewhere in the country as a result of Cyclone Pam.

The official death toll in Port Vila stands at six, with another 20 confirmed injured, according to Vanuatu's National Disaster Management Office. One person has also died in Papua New Guinea's West New Britain province after a tree fell onto a house during strong winds driven by the storm.

Vanuatu coordinator of climate change not-for-profit organisation 350, Isso Nihmei, said he and others tried to rescue three people in Port Vila who later died in hospital.

"We heard some of the people who were living close. They were shouting and calling us. So once we went down there, we saw this guy who was already dead," he said.

"There [were] other people on the other side, so we went down to rescue them but they were really weak....

NOAA image from March 14, 2015, of Cyclone Pam over Vanuatu

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