Mon 16, Mar 2015
Cyclone Pam, which hit Vanuatu over the week-end (14th March), has led to a State of Emergency being declared across 65 islands with a total population of 267,000.
The Cyclone was one of the fiercest in living memory. Communication to the tiny state of Vanuatu was knocked out due to the severe winds and rains. Aerial sightings have shown devastation across most of the islands. The United Nations has revised the number of deaths to 11, citing figures from Vanuatu's National Disaster Office but this number could rise sharply once communication is re-established with areas outside Port Villa, the capital city.
ABM’s staff member responsible for our programs in Vanuatu, who was on a monitoring visit to the country, was unable to leave Northern Vanuatu last week as the rains meant that planes could not land nor take-off on the sodden grass runway. We pray as we await to hear news.
Bishop Nathan Tome, currently Bishop of Guadalcanal who was formerly the Bishop of Banks and Torres, the northern most diocese of the Anglican Church of Melanesia (ACOM) in Vanuatu, spoke with ABM on a scheduled visit to our Sydney offices. “I spoke with my wife last week; she was concerned as the winds are quite strong, the seas are high and the rain heavy. I have not been able to speak with her or anyone else from ACOM all week-end.”
ABM are seeking to raise $100,000 to provide emergency relief for those displaced. ACOM is currently assessing their most immediate requirements and we will respond accordingly.
08/07/15 View a report on the relief distribution being carried out in Penama and Malampa Provinces by ACOM's Disaster Relief Team. Read more
06/07/15 Anglican Alliance article on ACOM's "bringing emergency assistance to remote island communities – and encountering stories of resilience and rebuilding in the process." Read more
Story from the Field Staff member Jess Sexton shares her recent experience in Vanuatu when she was unable to return home due to Cyclone Pam. Read more - Experiencing Cyclone Pam
20/03/15 This afternoon, ABM heard from Dr Abraham Hauriasi, General Secretary of the Anglican Church of Melanesia (ACOM). Read more
20/03/15 ABM this morning heard news that our much loved Vanuatu Program Coordinator, Jessica Sexton, is safe and arrived at Port Villa on a Red Cross plane last night. All staff and supporters will be relieved and we thank God for this result. Read more
PLEASE NOTE: THIS APPEAL IS CLOSED. You may read the latest updates on ABM's emergency responses here.
(Photo: Picturesque Vanuatu has been devastated by Cyclone Pam. © ABM / Don Brice)