March 2015 – Disaster in Paradise 01

Most probably “only” eight people lost their life. That at least the official figure given by the government of the Republic of Vanuatu.

It’s less than a week ago that a devastating cyclone rampaged over the more than 80 islands of the former British/French colony.

Vanuatu1A quarter of a million people call Vanuatu home and eight victims does not seem a lot. But really horrible is the fact that between 80 and 90 percent of the population lost their homes. Again an official figure given by the government.

Vanuatu2A couple of days we’ll be based in Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu on an island called Efate. While in Port Vila already Thousands of people are struggling hard to get back to normal, elsewhere on this and other islands the situation is much worst. Not only that families have to live and sleep in the open lots of them even have no access to clean water let alone electric energy.

Relief agencies from all over the world are meanwhile spread over the islands. A major problem is that lots of the inhabited islands are very hard to access. No airfield, no helicopter landing pads. Just small boats to cross the ocean between the isles.

To be continued…