UPDATE: ShelterBox Vanuatu Response
Tropical Cyclone Pam was a category five cyclone when it struck the South Pacific with winds peaking at 185mph. It veered off its expected course and struck Vanuatu early on Saturday, March 14th as one of the strongest cyclones experienced within the region.
Vanuatu has a population of 267,000 spread over 65 islands grouped into six provinces. A state of emergency has been declared in the Shefa province with other provinces still to be fully assessed. On Efate Island, located in Shefa, an estimated 90 % of structures are damaged or destroyed. More than 2,000 people are sheltering in over 25 evacuation centers across Efate, Torba and Penama provinces.
On Friday, the scale of the Cyclone was starting to become clear, the Operations Department approached the government of Vanuatu, other aid agencies and the humanitarian departments of the governments of Australia and New Zealand.
ShelterBox response team members have now arrived in Vanuatu and have been meeting with CARE International to discuss further response.
The Logistics Team is currently assessing the best options of transporting shelter kits into Vanuatu. However, movement in and out of the country is very slow at present, due to the lack of infrastructure and permission needed from the Vanuatu Government.