'Disaster' in Vanuatu after Cyclone Pam

  • An aerial view of damaged houses in seen on March 16, 2015 in Port Vila, Vanuatu. Cyclone Pam has hit South Pacific islands on Saturday with hurricane force winds, huge ocean swells and flash flooding and has caused severe damage to housing. Aid agencies say it could be one of the worst disasters ever to hit the region.
  • People walk along the shore where debris is scattered in Port Vila, Vanuatu on March 14, 2015, in the aftermath of Cyclone Pam. Winds from the extremely powerful cyclone that blew through the Pacific’s Vanuatu archipelago are beginning to subside, revealing widespread destruction.
  • People walk along the shore where debris is scattered in Port Vila, Vanuatu on March 14, 2015, in the aftermath of Cyclone Pam. Winds from the extremely powerful cyclone that blew through the Pacific’s Vanuatu archipelago are beginning to subside, revealing widespread destruction.
  • A resident next to a tree that had branches broken off by winds and rain from Cyclone Pam, outside the Vanuatu capital of Port Vila on March 15, 2015. Cyclone-devastated Vanuatu declared a state of emergency on March 15 as relief agencies scrambled to get help to the remote Pacific nation amid reports entire villages were “blown away” when the monster storm swept through.
  • Young children move around debris as residents work to recover from Cyclone Pam in Mele village, on the outskirts of the capital Port Vila, Vanuatu on March 15, 2015. Vanuatu’s President Baldwin Lonsdale said the cyclone that hammered the tiny South Pacific archipelago was a “monster” that has destroyed or damaged 90 percent of the buildings in the capital and has forced the nation to start anew.
  • Samuel, only his first name given, carries a ball through the ruins of their family home as his father, Phillip, at back, picks through the debris in Port Vila, Vanuatu in the aftermath of Cyclone Pam Monday, March 16, 2015. Vanuatu’s President Baldwin Lonsdale said Monday that the cyclone that hammered the tiny South Pacific archipelago over the weekend was a “monster” that has destroyed or damaged 90 percent of the buildings in the capital and has forced the nation to start anew.
  • A young boy plays with a ball as his mother searches through the ruins of their family home on March 16, 2015 in Port Vila, Vanuatu. Cyclone Pam has hit South Pacific islands on Saturday with hurricane force winds, huge ocean swells and flash flooding and has caused severe damage to housing. Aid agencies say it could be one of the worst disasters ever to hit the region.
  • Local residents move their belongings in their damaged homes after Cyclone Pam hit Port Vila, the capital city of the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu, March 15, 2015. The first aid teams to reach Vanuatu reported widespread devastation on Sunday as authorities declared a state of emergency after the “monster” cyclone tore through the vulnerable Pacific island nation. With winds of more than 300 kph (185 mph), Cyclone Pam razed homes, smashed boats and washed away roads and bridges as it struck late on Friday and into Saturday. Aid workers described the situation as catastrophic.
  • Clothes sit on the ground to dry as Adrian Banga stands in front of his destroyed house on March 16, 2015 in Port Vila, Vanuatu. Cyclone Pam has hit South Pacific islands on Saturday with hurricane force winds, huge ocean swells and flash flooding and has caused severe damage to housing. Aid agencies say it could be one of the worst disasters ever to hit the region.
  • Local resident Uwen Garae stands in his home damaged by Cyclone Pam in Port Vila, the capital city of the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu March 16, 2015. Reports from the outer islands of Vanuatu on Monday painted a picture of utter destruction after the monster cyclone tore through the South Pacific island nation, flattening buildings and killing at least eight people. Disaster management officials and relief workers were struggling to establish contact with the islands that bore the brunt of Cyclone Pam’s winds of more than 300 kph (185 mph), which destroyed homes, smashed boats and washed away roads and bridges as it struck late on Friday and into Saturday.
  • People on a dock view yachts damaged in Port Vila, Vanuatu on March 14, 2015, in the aftermath of Cyclone Pam. Winds from the extremely powerful cyclone that blew through the Pacific’s Vanuatu archipelago are beginning to subside, revealing widespread destruction.
  • United Nations personnel stand among aid being flown onboard an RAAF C-17 Globemaster, on March 16, 2015 to Port Vila, Vanuatu. Cyclone Pam has hit South Pacific islands on Saturday with hurricane force winds, huge ocean swells and flash flooding and has caused severe damage to housing. Aid agencies say it could be one of the worst disasters ever to hit the region.
  • Vanuatu’s President Baldwin Lonsdale, flanked by a Japanese security police officer holding an umbrella, speaks during an interview with Reuters, after attending the third United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR), in Tokyo, March 16, 2015, before leaving to return home. The first aid teams to reach Vanuatu reported widespread devastation on Sunday as authorities declared a state of emergency after a “monster” cyclone tore through the Pacific island nation. Lonsdale, who happened to be at a disaster risk conference in Japan, likened the storm to a monster.

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The first international aid arrived in Vanuatu on Sunday after Cyclone Pam tore across the Pacific archipelago, killing at least six and leaving widespread destruction.

With winds of more than 185 mph, Cyclone Pam razed homes, smashed boats and washed away roads and bridges as it struck late on Friday and into Saturday. Aid workers described the situation as catastrophic.

“The situation is a disaster,” Jacqueline De Gaillande, the CEO of Vanuatu Red Cross, told NBC News. “Most people have lost their homes. All the roofs have gone. People are outside trying to find their belongings on the ground. Lots of trees have fallen on the houses. It’s really a big disaster.”

De Gaillande told NBC News that six deaths have been confirmed.

Read more at NBCNews.com

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