Tropical Cyclone Pam wreaks havoc in Vanuatu, ADRA in place to respond

PORT VILA, VANUATU—Tropical Cyclone Pam ripped through the islands of Vanuatu yesterday, leaving a path of destruction in its wake.

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is already on the ground in place to respond in coordination with local partners and aid agencies.

Currently, ADRA is still waiting to hear from all of the ADRA Vanuatu team, including five missing in Pentecost and 5 in Malakula who have not been able to communicate due to downed cellular networks.

ADRA Vanuatu has been traveling around Port Vila to check on current conditions and reported that trees and power lines across the roads were blocking passage to main roads. The team also reported a “pre-organized evacuation center that started to get ripped apart during the night, so people had to be moved to another site in the middle of the cyclone.”

Field staff is also reporting that families whose homes have survived the last two cyclones lost their homes during Pam.

“Families are trying to gather as much as they can,” said Mark le Roux, ADRA Vanuatu Country Director. “Even sturdy houses didn’t make it—walls and roofs came down.”

ADRA is prepositioned to release emergency kits from three warehouses in Shefa, Efate, and Tafea. The kits include soap, water filtration kits, and collapsible water containers. ADRA is prepared to participate in assessing the situation when the storm has passed to decide what local communities will need most.

Further information will be provided as it becomes available.

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About ADRA

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency International is the humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Its work empowers communities and changes lives around the globe by providing sustainable community development and disaster relief. For more information, visit ADRA.org.