Vandaag bereiken hulpverleners voor het eerst de zwaar getroffen zuidelijke eilanden van Vanuatu, Tanna en Erromango. De eerste impactmetingen tonen dat volledige dorpen er van de kaart geveegd zijn.
Many villages on the islands had 80 to 100 per cent of buildings damaged or destroyed. More teams of humanitarian workers will arrive in the islands today to begin delivering aid and a ferry full of relief supplies should arrive in Tanna island, home to nearly 30,000 people, early tomorrow.
While the death toll was yesterday revised down to 11 by the UN there are real concerns about the potential for disease because of the need for clean water and sanitation equipment and a real concern about the increasing lack of food.
Oxfam Country Director in Port Vila, Colin Collett van Rooyen, said aerial assessments of some other small islands yesterday reported that residents were signaling for help.
“The aerial assessments of Ambryn island reported large white ‘Hs’ marked out on the ground by people signaling for help, and on Tongoa island people holding up mirrors also signaling for help.Friday night was the first emergency with the arrival of Cyclone Pam and the destruction it caused, disease will be the second emergency without clean water, sanitation and hygiene provision, and food shortages will be the third emergency because of crop devastation. The Vanuatu Government is working hard for its people but the need for humanitarian aid in response to this crisis is enormous.”
Oxfam Australia Executive Director Helen Szoke said Oxfam Australia had launched a full scale appeal to help the many thousands of people affected by the devastating cyclone.
“The people of Vanuatu and their government have shown enormous strength in the aftermath of this disaster and Oxfam is committed to helping them for as long as it takes,” she said.
Cyclone Pam made a direct hit on Vanuatu on Friday night, tearing through the archipelago with winds of up to 250kmh. Port Vila was recently named in the Natural Hazards Risk Atlas and is known as the city most exposed to natural disasters in the world because it faces a combination of risks including earthquakes, tsunamis, flooding and tropical cyclones such as Cyclone Pam.
- beeldmateriaal van getroffen families en Oxfam-medewerkers beschikbaar via: http://wordsandpictures.oxfam.org.au/?c=14438&k=6d8e290a36
- interviews met medewerkers op het terrein mogelijk
- de Belgische afdeling van Oxfam roept op om een gift te doen voor de slachtoffers van Pam, en dat op het rekeningnummer BE37 0000 0000 2828 met vermelding 9131 = BELCA000