In the wake of Tropical Cyclone Pam, which struck the South Pacific on March 13, the Vanuatu Tourism Office has declared a state of emergency in the Shefa province (which includes the capital city of Port Vila).
The cyclone, which was estimated to be equivalent to a category 5 hurricane, was reportedly the second strongest since the 1979 storm that devastated the region.
Several relief organizations have been offering assistance in the aftermath of the cyclone, including:
- Red Cross Australia/ New Zealand/RedCross.org.au and RedCross.org.nz
- UNICEF Australia/New Zealand/www.unicef.org.au and www.unicef.org.nz
- Oxfam Australia/New Zealand/Oxfam.org.au and oxfam.org.nz
- World Vision/www.worldvision.org
- Save the Children/www.savethechildren.org
- Act for Peace/www.actforpeace.org.au
- Shelter Box/www.ShelterBoxUSA.org
- CARE USA/www.care.org
Relief efforts such as providing food, shelter and water have been a main priority and donations are currently being accepted to aid those in need.
With regard to travel in the region, Air Vanuatu, the national carrier of Vanuatu, resumed air services between Australia and Vanuatu on Monday, March 16, and regular updates are being posted on www.airvanuatu.com. Information about air travel via Fiji Airways can be found via www.fijiairways.com.
The current status of Vanuatu accommodations is as follows:
Sunset Bungalows: Sustained some damage and some waterfront bungalows are gone. Guests moved to Chantilly's on the Bay. www.sunset-bungalows.com
Chantilly's on the Bay: Small amount of damage. Wharf has been washed away. www.chantillysonthebay.com
The Terraces: Minor ceiling damage to the reception. Open for business. www.TheTerracesvanuatu.com
Mangoes Beachfront Luxury Villas: Sustained minimal damage. Open for business. www.MangoesResort.com
Vale Vale: Minimal damage to resort and repairs will be made as soon as power is restored. Open for business. www.valevalebeachfront.com.au
Iririki Island Resort: Early reports suggest the property sustained significant damage. www.Iririki.com
Ocean Blue Vanuatu: Minimal damage to some lodges in the resort.
The Havannah: The road to the resort is gone. Resort sustained significant damage. www.thehavannah.com
Warwick Le Lagon: Damage sustained by resort, total impact not yet confirmed. www.warwickhotels.com/le-lagon-resort
Benjour Beach Club: Sustained minor damage to resort, will remain closed for one month. www.Benjour.vu
Poppys on the Lagoon: Sustained limited damage, unable to accept new guests for a few days. www.poppys.com.vu
Vila 25: Sustained minimal damage. Open for business. www.vanuatuaccommodation.vu
The Melanesian: No major damage but no power. Some inconvenience to new guests in the coming weeks. www.melanesianportvila.com
Moorings: No major damage but no power. Some inconvenience to new guests in the coming weeks. www.mooringsvanuatu.com
Coconut Palms Resort: Sustained minimal damage and will be closed for up to three weeks. www.coconutpalms.vu
Mariner Apartments: Sustained minimal damage – more information to come. www.marinerapartmentsportvila.com