Vanuatu cyclone: Devastation mapped

  • 17 March 2015
  • From the section Asia

Communities across the Pacific archipelago of Vanuatu have been left devastated by Cyclone Pam, which brought gusts of wind of up to 300km/h (185mph). At least 11 people have died - but contact has not yet been made with the population of some islands and the toll is expected to rise.

The storm struck the islands on Saturday and was heading in a south-westerly direction when Nasa captured the image below. Not long after the image was taken, the storm hit the island of Efate, home to Vanuatu's capital city, Port Vila.

Cyclone Pam: 13 March, 13:30 local time (02:30 GMT)

Image copyright NASA

Storm's path

As well as hitting the main island of Efate, the storm has wreaked havoc on islands further south, including Erromango and Tanna, aid agencies say.

Pam had already caused major damage on other Pacific islands, including Kiribati and the Solomon Islands.

Port Vila in detail

Local officials say the majority of homes in the capital have been severely damaged or destroyed. Bridges around the city have also been torn down, making travel by vehicle impossible around the main island of Efate.

However, the damaged airport in Port Vila has reopened, allowing some relief flights to reach the country.

Aerial photos show the extent of the destruction in one neighbourhood in the capital. Satellite images of the same area taken last year show, in particular, how the trees in the area have been ripped out.

16 March 2015

Image copyright Getty Images

September 2014

Image copyright Google

Aerial images also show damaged buildings close to Port Vila's airport.

15 March 2015

Image copyright AFP/CARE/TOM PERRY

September 2014

Image copyright Google

In addition, school buildings near Montmartre, east of Port Vila, have suffered.

16 March 2015

Image copyright AFP

September 2014

Image copyright Google

Elsewhere in Vanuatu

Aerial images from remote villages across the islands also reveal scenes of devastation. Tens of thousands of people have been left without shelter.

President Baldwin Lonsdale said the storm had "wiped out" all development of recent years and his country would have to rebuild "everything".

15 March 2015

Image copyright AFP/Getty

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