A container of aid, including tents, tarpaulins and blankets, has left ShelterBox’s warehouse in Helston, Cornwall this afternoon and will be transported to Vanuatu to help communities in the country recover from the terrible damage caused by Cyclone Pam.
The category five cyclone struck Vanuatu, which is situated around 1,000 miles east of northern Australia in the South Pacific, earlier this month, causing destruction across the country’s 80 islands. An estimated 90% of buildings were completely destroyed or damaged, while infrastructure and communications were crippled as a result of the tropical storm.
The container of aid, along with 1,000 shelter kits that are already in transit, are destined for the southerly island of Tanna, where ShelterBox response volunteers Ross MacKenzie (NZ) and Peter Pearce (AUS) have been carrying out assessments on the level of damage. Ross said: ‘all the traditional houses have been demolished, while all schools and businesses on the island are either partially or totally destroyed.’
This gallery shows the extent of damage caused by Cyclone Pam on Vanuatu.
The team will be working with the aid organisation CARE International to help communities in areas of Middle Bush and White Sands, which are located near the foothills of the active volcano Mount Yasur.
Ross added: ‘In Middle Bush and White Sands areas, we have seen the near-total destruction of homes in every village we visited.’ The mixture of aid items will not only give people emergency shelter, but the shelter kits can also be used to repair existing structures and to help people recover from the disaster’.
A further four ShelterBox response volunteers, David Hatcher (UK), Greg Moran (AUS), Sally Fletcher (NZ) and James Smith (UK), will be heading to Vanuatu this weekend to help distribute aid to those families in need.