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Cyclone Pam: CARE Deeply Concerned about Impact on Remote Islands

Credit: Inga Mepham/CARE
Credit: Inga Mepham/CARE

Country team to distribute relief supplies

PORT VILA, Vanuatu-(March 15, 2015)–Three days after cyclone Pam devastated the island state of Vanuatu, CARE is concerned that many remote communities are still isolated and cut off from communications.

“We are extremely concerned about the Southern Islands of Erromango, Tanna, Aniwa and Futuna as these were directly hit by Cyclone Pam and people had limited protection from the storm. Yet we do not have a full picture of the impact”, said Charlie Damon, Program Manager for CARE in Vanuatu from the capital Port Vila.

Based on initial assessments, CARE estimates that 85 percent of all houses in Port Vila are destroyed. There is no electricity in many areas. Health support is now of utmost importance as the central hospital has no power and is partly damaged. The majority of the population is staying at evacuation centers, but there are no sufficient sanitation facilities; toilets and soap are urgently needed. Together with partners, CARE will start to distribute hygiene kits tailored to women and men’s needs in evacuation centres of Port Vila on Tuesday.

“The destruction in the capital is enormous. I can’t even begin to imagine how it must look like on the outer islands”, Damon continues. “It is now our priority to reach the remote islands of Tafea province, where we have been working before the cyclone, and to support people with water, sanitation, shelter and food.”

CARE is the only aid organization operating in the island province of Tafea and the humanitarian needs are likely to be immense.

Another cyclone is currently building off the far north coast of Queensland, Australia and could potentially hit Vanuatu on Wednesday.

CARE has worked in Vanuatu since 2008, focussing on building resilience to disasters and climate change shocks, and increasing women and girls’ involvement in community leadership.

Read More:

Cyclone Pam: CARE to launch response after “utter devastation” in Vanuatu

Media contact: Holly Frew  +1.770.842.6188  hfrew@care.org

About CARE:  Founded in 1945, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE has more than six decades of experience helping people prepare for disasters, providing lifesaving assistance when a crisis hits, and helping communities recover after the emergency has passed. CARE places special focus on women and children, who are often disproportionately affected by disasters. To learn more, visit www.care.org.

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