While I sit here in my house in Koné, 600kms away from the islands of Vanuatu thousands of people are suffering. On Friday, the strongest cyclone in over 50 years churned her way over top of the islands that make up Vanuatu. Pam was a category 5 cyclone with sustained winds of 250km/hr with gusts topping 350km/hr. Scary stuff! Twenty four people are confirmed dead, with more expected and over 3000 homeless.
Last week, we followed the path of Pam, intensely. As she grew and gathered strength, our fear that it would strike New Caledonia grew and I wondered what it would be like if she did hit. Luckily, as the days passed, her path moved to the east, sparing us and unfortunately taking target on Vanuatu. Vanuatu a group of over 80 small islands, is to the east of us. Its population is about 250,000 and over 65% of the population are consummation farmers, meaning that they farm as their living and to feed their families. Thatch roofed huts are not uncommon and some communities are still without telecommunications. You may remember the name from the reality TV show Survivor.
So, when Pam and all her force set her sites on Vanuatu, the results were devasting. Whole villages wiped out, infrastructure torn to shreds, crops destroyed and people left with nothing.
So I am asking you, to help. Here the Red Cross is collecting water, candles, tarps, matches, clothes and food. But you can do your part where ever you are in the world. Red Cross, UNICEF and Save the children are all accepting donations for Vanuatu. I know the kind people of Vanuatu will appreciate your kindness.
Here are some images courtesy of Daniel Parker via Facebook