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Help yet to reach Vanuatu islands

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 01:25

International aid is arriving in the Vanuatu capital after Cyclone Pam but could still take days to reach the nation's remoter regions. Paul Chapman reports.

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The Vanuatu island of Tanna took the brunt of Cyclone Pam's fury over the weekend. By Wednesday they were still waiting for help to arrive. Residents say they're running out of food and other basic supplies. Some are comparing what's left of their home to a war zone. (SOUNDBITE) (English) VOLUNTEER REACHER SAIMONI NAINOCA SAYING: "People are licking their wounds. People from the community had to use the college as the evacuation centre. You wouldn't believe it. You've seen war in Iraq and other places where people are being evacuated. Well, in this case here, yes, it's just like a battlefield." International aid is arriving in the capital, Port Vila, but relief workers say it's going to be some days yet before it gets to places like Tanna. Joe Lowry's an assessor for the International Organisation for Migration. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JOE LOWRY, NITERNATIONAL ORGANISATION FOR MIGRATION, SAYING: "People are saying that there's hundreds of people perhaps who've been sleeping in a school. They say they've got maybe one week of food left and we're miles away from anywhere here. It's an hour's flight if we're lucky to get here, one airstrip." The cylcone hit with windspeed of more than 300 kilometres an hour. Vital crops have been destroyed and fishing boats wrecked. Nearly a half the nation's economy relies on tourism and that's been badly affected too with the capital closed to cruise liners indefinitely.

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Help yet to reach Vanuatu islands

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 01:25