Tropical Cyclone Pam Devastates Vanuatu

Posted on: Monday, 16th March, 2015
This image shows damage several hours after the cyclone hit Gajapati District, Odisha, in India.

Cyclone Pam, a massive category 5 cyclone packing winds of up to 190 miles per hour, has torn a path of destruction through the small Pacific island nation of Vanuatu leaving thousands of people homeless and at least eight people dead.

The capital, Port Vila, took a direct hit from the storm, dumping torrential rain on the archipelago nation northeast of Australia.

As in other emergencies, many people with disability in Vanuatu found it very difficult to reach safety and found themselves in life-threatening situations. Attempting to navigate damaged buildings or roads if you are unable to see, hear or walk can make it nearly impossible to get to safety – leaving people with disability vulnerable and at greater risk.

Many islands that have been affected are still inaccessible, and there is little or no information available on the condition of people living in remote areas.

CBM Australia's partner Vanuatu Disabled Peoples Association is currently carrying out a needs assessment with local partners and agencies to ensure people with disability are included in all emergency relief efforts.

We ask that you join us in prayer:

  • Please pray for the ongoing safety and wellbeing of people with disability impacted by Cyclone Pam
  • Please pray that any evacuation and emergency relief efforts will include people with disability
  • We will keep you updated as we learn more. Read about CBM's emergency work here

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