We’ve had a few emails from family and friends checking that we’re OK following the news that Cyclone Pam has completely devastated Vanuatu. This is just a quick note to confirm that thankfully we left Port Vila 2 days before she hit. We’re currently in the North-East of New Zealand which is being battered by the cyclone but is absolutely nothing compared to the devastation caused to Vanuatu.
We assume (and hope) that British news agencies are covering the disaster which has been confirmed as the worst natural disaster in the regions history. Already one of the poorest countries in the World, Vanuatu has sadly been ripped apart within a matter of hours. The images and reports on TV are focussed on the capital Port Vila, however the eye of the storm passed straight through the southern islands (including the beautiful Tanna) which are believed to have been completely decimated. Until aid can reach these smaller outer-lying islands, its unknown just how many people have lost their lives.
It’s almost certain that those who were fortunate enough to survive, have had their homes, crops, communities and entire livelihoods destroyed beyond repair. Of course our thoughts are with the entire people of Vanuatu but we are especially concerned for the wonderful family we stayed with on Tanna Island. For now however there is little we can do other than support the relief effort.
Apologies for being a little forthright, but Oxfam are running a relief campaign from within the UK and donations can be made online here: http://www.oxfam.org.uk/
It’s times like this we realise just how lucky we are to live in such a safe, well-developed country. We’ll certainly think twice before complaining about the British weather ever again.
K & J