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Cyclone Pam: Vanuatu a scene of destruction after South Pacific storm .VIDEO

Cyclone Pam: Vanuatu a scene of destruction after South Pacific storm .

President calls for ‘helping hand’ from the world as aid workers tell of fierce impact and Australia and New Zealand prepare to mount relief efforts.

Screaming winds and heavy rain from an extremely powerful cyclone that blew through Vanuatu have left widespread destruction, with unconfirmed reports of dozens of deaths, aid workers rushing to assess the damage and the governments of Australia and New Zealand preparing to mount a relief effort.
The president of Vanuatu, Baldwin Lonsdale, gave an emotional address as he attended an overseas conference on disasters and emergencies, telling delegates in Japan: “I am speaking to you today with a heart that is so heavy. I stand to appeal on behalf of the government and the people to give a helping hand in this disaster.”
As winds dropped on Saturday afternoon with the cyclone’s passage, the extent of damage began to reveal itself. Communication systems in many of the hard-hit outer islands remained down. Red Cross Pacific regional head Aurelia Balpe told Agence France-Presse that in one southern part of Vanuatu, islanders packed into caves and other makeshift shelters as they resorted to “traditional coping strategies”.
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