| Mar 15, 2015
Medical Teams International (MTI) is closely monitoring the situation in Vanuatu following the March 13 landfall of Cyclone Pam, which pummeled the archipelago nation with the force of a Category 5 hurricane.
The massive cyclone displaced thousands and killed at least eight people, according to early reports from the National Disaster Management Office. Vanuatu's capital, Port Vila, received the brunt of the damage, with most of the buildings there now damaged or destroyed. It's currently unclear what the extent of the destruction is in Vanuatu's more rural enclaves, although U.N. officials say they fear the worst, with reports now circulating of entire villages wiped out. Officials say they expect the death toll to rise once a full assessment is made across all 83 islands that compose Vanuatu.
MTI will continue to monitor the health needs of Vanuatu following the devastating cyclone, which has affected more than 48,000 people. What's currently known is that part of the country's main hospital, Vila Central, was damaged but remains operational. However, with more than 10,000 people currently homeless in Port Vila alone, the hospital is succumbing to overcrowding. The U.N. expects that at least 50 percent of children under 5, a figure that totals more than 17,000, will now be at risk for worsening childhood illness and nutritional status.
As more information becomes available, keep the people of Vanuatu in your thoughts and prayers. The humanitarian needs there are high, and we need your help to provide essential services to people whose worlds have been turned upside down.
You can make a contribution that will be used to provide life-saving care to the people of Vanuatu and nearby islands on MTI's disaster relief page.
Your donation means we can respond to the devastation from the outset, when lives hang in the balance.
In the days ahead, we will continue to keep you abreast of the situation and our disaster relief response. MTI last responded to a super storm in 2013, when Typhoon Haiyan swept through the Philippines, killing more than 6,000 and injuring at least 27,000. During that response, MTI provided aid for 10,000 people in the first three months following the storm. Altogether, MTI deployed 60 volunteers and provided care for more than 20,500 patients in the aftermath of Haiyan.