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March 19, 2015

Cyclone Pam destroyed 90% of Vanuatu's buildings

By Citymetric Staff

This shocking picture shows a resident of Port Vila, the capital and largest city of Vanuatu. He lost the roof and several walls from his house in Cyclone Pam, the storm which hit the South Pacific island group over the weekend.

The storm caused floding and hurricane force winds which flattened buildings, destroyed crops, and, according to United Nations estimates, killed 24 people. In all, Vanuatu’s president, Baldwin Lonsdale, told Reuters that “more than 90 per cent of the buildings [on the island] have been destroyed”. 

On Tuesday, the BBC reported that the destruction of infrastructure in some parts of the archipelago was forcing the islanders to drink saltwater. President Lonsdale sent out an urgent appeal, saying the islanders need help “right now”, especially as aid agencies have been struggling to land their planes on the flooded landscape. A guide to the charities leading the relief effort is available here

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