In pictures: Cyclone Pam hits Vanuatu (At link)
"People living on a remote island in the north-west of Vanuatu are having to drink harmful saltwater following last week's cyclone, the BBC has discovered. Residents of Moso say they are still waiting for outside help to arrive. Aid agencies have begun trying to access the country's small outer islands, but flooding has stopped their planes from landing in some areas. One pilot said the lush landscape had been transformed and now looked as if it had been destroyed by a bush fire. In addition to drinking water shortages, officials say there is also a desperate need for food and shelter, with tens of thousands of people now homeless.End of excerpt
Drinking saltwater is damaging as the more a person drinks, the more water already present in the body is rerouted to help dilute the excess of salt. It can lead to dehydration and death. The United Nations has revised the official number of people killed by the cyclone, bringing it down to 11 from an earlier figure of 24.The relatively low number of casualties has been attributed to the advance warnings that were issued.
Four days after the cyclone struck, aid agencies say that outlying areas of Vanuatu hit by Cyclone Pam suffered "significantly worse" damage than the island nation's capital, Port Vila. Prime Minister Joe Natuman told the BBC that the full extent of the damage across the islands was still not clear. He said that the more heavily populated islands of Tanna and Efate received most of the damage. "The other islands should be okay," he said, "except maybe one group." Local people and aid agencies say that the rebuilding effort will be immense.
Four days after Cyclone Pam ripped through Vanuatu the full extent of the damage is still not known. Many of the more than 60 inhabited islands remain cut off. We travelled by boat to Moso, the first people to visit since the cyclone struck. Villagers in the community of Taseriki told us they had received no help whatsoever since the storm. Many houses are completely flattened. There are no shops, people grow their own food, and their crops have been destroyed. One man told us his children were going hungry, having to scavenge what they could find. Villagers have been having to drink saltwater for two days. You cannot survive like that for long. The death toll across Vanuatu remains thankfully low. But the suffering is immense."
So when anyone dares to tell you that the human race has PROGRESSED and EVOLVED, just look at them and laugh. In this the 21st Century we can send rockets to the moon, orbit satellites in space, create more and more destructive and technologically savvy weapons of death- but when it comes to getting water to people to save their lives WE FAIL. And of course, the usuals are now licking their lips to go in and make sure GM seeds are introduced along with the IMF and World Bank "guaranteeing" loans that will make them richer while the residents already suffering will continue to be in servitude to the elitist banks and corporations looking to profit off of their misery. Is this why climate change has been summarily ignored by the international community save for their platitudes and photo ops at UN COP Conferences and the fake marches by their NGO enablers? Global warming is a cash cow for the very entities claiming to want to address it!... so don't wonder why it has been allowed to get to this point- the point of no return. We humans need to take back out humanity or we are done.
UPDATE:3-15-15 A Cyclone Destroys A Nation
Pam, a Category 5 storm, has left most of Vanuatu's population homeless.
By Matt SchiavenzaEnd of excerpt
Cyclone Pam bears down on Vanuatu in this NASA satellite image.
Torrential rains and winds up to 185 miles per hour lashed the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu on Saturday, downing power lines and flattening buildings throughout the country. The official death toll of the storm, called Tropical Cyclone Pam, is eight, but the final figure is likely to be considerably higher: Rescuers have been unable to communicate with residents living in the archipelago's outlying islands.
Vanuatu President Baldwin Lonsdale said that Cyclone Pam destroyed schools and hospitals and rendered thousands homeless. "I stand to appeal on behalf of the government and the people to give a helping hand in this disaster," he said, his voice heavy with emotion. The governments of Australia and New Zealand flew military planes loaded with supplies to Vanuatu, a cluster of 65 islands located some 2,000 miles east of Australia, and have pledged millions of dollars in aid.
"Local residents say they have never experienced anything like this."
As a tropical nation, Vanuatu is no stranger to major storms. "Vanuatu has a cyclone season," the Oxfam country director in Port Vila, Colin Collet van Rooyen, told the New York Times. "But local residents say they have never experienced anything like this."
Alas, devastating cyclones may become more commonplace in Vanuatu, a low-lying nation considered extremely vulnerable to climate change. Roughly three quarters of the population of 267,000 work in fishing and agriculture, two industries sensitive to rising sea levels and warmer temperatures. Prolonged dry spells have begun to threaten the country's water supply, while intense rainstorms have damaged staple crops like cabbage.
Vanuatu is well aware of the risks of climate change—in 2013, the country established a ministry devoted to mitigating the risks of rising sea temperatures, drought, and other environmental disasters. But for now, the country must recover from a cyclone whose damage may not be fully realized for years.
Tropical Cyclone Pam: Death toll may rise after worst natural disaster in 'living memory'
This is the world we have made by our rapacious consumption. Shameful that after all of the disasters we have seen just in the last five years that on the whole we as a species still have not connected that dot. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Cyclone Pam Brings Catastrophic Death and Destruction
Chloe Morrison, a World Vision emergency communications officer in Port Vila, said Sunday that officials from Vanuatu’s National Disaster Management Office confirmed to her agency that eight people in and around the capital had died during the cyclone.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
She says officials haven’t been able to assess the damage in many of the hard-hit outer islands where communications remain down.
Many residents were forced to hunker a second night in emergency shelters after venturing out on Saturday only to find their homes damaged or blown away, according to aid workers.
Power remains out across the tiny Pacific archipelago and people on many of the outer islands have no access to running water or outside communications, said Chloe Morrison, a World Vision emergency communications officer in the capital of Port Vila.
Now, residents in New Zealand’s north are being urged to brace for the impact from the cyclone.
The UN had unconfirmed reports of 44 people killed in one province.
“A disaster of this magnitude has not been experienced by Vanuatu in recent history — particularly in terms of the reach of the potential damage and the ferocity of the storm,” said Sune Gudnitz, who heads the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the Pacific.
The full extent of the damage is unknown, with limited communications in place after Super Cyclone Pam, a maximum category five storm, slammed directly into the island country late Friday with gusts up to 320 kilometres (200 miles) an hour.
The storm crossed the main Vanuatu island, home to more than 65,000 people, and a group of islands further south where 33,000 live after affecting the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu, where there were no reports of fatalities.
Heavy rain, gales and high seas are expected to hit New Zealand from Sunday night and could cause widespread flooding, power cuts and damage.
Reports are that this could be one of the worst cyclones in Pacific history on the same scale as Typhoon Haiyan which hit the Philippines in November 2013. Once again a huge storm hitting a poor area of the world where people were not prepared. Countries that attend UN COP Conferences always talk about aid to countries that are victims of climate destruction. Time to now step up to the plate- and if you don't think anthropogenic amplification has any part in these stronger storms you are extremely naïve.
NOAA Image of Cyclone Pam
Pacific Aid:Vanuatu Cyclone Appeal