March 2015 – Disaster in Paradise 02

My driver’s name is Carlos. He is familiar with each and every place in Porto Vila, the capital of Vanuatu and all over the island. Some days ago he came back from Takara, his hometown in the north of the island of Efate.

Vanuatu 1 (3)“Nothing is left”, he says with tears in his eyes. “The cyclone came and rampaged more than 15 Minutes destroying everything in his way.” Most of the houses are damaged but there was more to come. “After the storm came the water. Tidal waves flooding streets and houses. And with the waves came the sand”. Now people work hard to dig out their belongings under layers of sand and mud.

People are trying to make the best of a bad job. Often nothing is left. The sea took it for lunch is what the people say.

Strong winds, full force gales? Nothing new for the people of Vanuatu. They can handle it. But this time it was different. The strongest, wildest storm the South Pacific has ever seen.

It is going to be a hard job, it might even take up to ten years, but our population will overcome the hardship. That’s what Baldwin Lonsdale, the President of Vanuatu says.

But another even more dramatic problem is coming up.

To be continued…