"Rescue Teams Reach Cyclone-Hit Vanuatu Islands, Official Toll Lowered"

"TANNA, Vanuatu -- Residents of the southern Vanuatu island of Tanna said they were running out of food and basic supplies on Tuesday, after a huge cyclone tore across the South Pacific nation wreaking widespread devastation but not the heavy death toll initially feared.

Relief workers were still battling to reach many of the islands pummeled by Cyclone Pam's gusts of more than 300 kph (185 mph) on Friday and Saturday.

With communications cut off and reconnaissance flights revealing destroyed houses, shredded forests and damaged buildings, international aid agencies had been particularly worried about Tanna, which bore the full force of the storm.

A Reuters witness on the island of 29,000 people, about 200 km (125 miles) south of the capital, said that while damage was extensive, it appeared most of the population had survived by sheltering in schools, churches and other sturdy buildings."

Stephen Coates reports for Reuters March 17, 2015.


"Cyclone Flattened the Landscape in Vanuatu's Outer Islands" (AP)

"Vanuatu's President Makes a Leap in Tying Cyclone Pam To Climate Change" (Mashable)

"Climate Change Aggravating Cyclone Damage, Scientists Say" (Guardian)

"Pacific Nations To Highlight Cyclone Pam in Climate Talks" (Reuters)

"After 'Monster' Storm Hits Vanuatu, Leader Pleads For Aid" (NPR)

"Vanuatu Disaster: the Island Hit By An Earthquake, a Volcano Then Cyclone Pam" (Guardian)

Source: Reuters, 03/17/2015