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Active ADRA response to Vanuatu cyclone devastation

Active ADRA response to Vanuatu cyclone devastation

Bern, Switzerland [Natalia López-Thismón, ADRA International, BUC News, CD EUDNews]. March 23, 2015. The Adventist Development and Relief Agency, ADRA, has secured clean water and improved hygiene facilities for 10 evacuation centres based around Port

March 23, 2015 | Natalia López-Thismón, ADRA International, BUC News, CD EUDNews.

Bern, Switzerland [Natalia López-Thismón, ADRA International, BUC News, CD EUDNews]. March 23, 2015.

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency, ADRA, has secured clean water and improved hygiene facilities for 10 evacuation centres based around Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu. It is distributing emergency kits including water filtration units, soap and other hygiene resources. Following the devastation caused across Vanuatu by Tropical Cyclone Pam, the agency is also preparing to distribute emergency shelter and food packages.

Parts of the island nation are still without contact, particularly the outlying islands, but ADRA staff are already active assessing need across the territory, this, despite ADRA leadership still waiting to hear from all members of the ADRA Vanuatu team, including five missing in Pentecost who have not been able to communicate due to downed mobile networks. Another five, previously unaccounted for in Malakula have now made contact.

ADRA Vanuatu has been travelling around Port Vila to check on current conditions and reported that trees and power lines across the roads were blocking passage to main roads. The team also reported a "pre-organized evacuation centre that started to get ripped apart during the night, so people had to be moved to another site in the middle of the cyclone."

Field staff also reported that families whose homes survived the previous two cyclones lost their homes during Pam. "Families are trying to gather as much as they can", said Mark le Roux, ADRA Vanuatu Country director. "Even sturdy houses didn't make it ‒ walls and roofs came down."

ADRA is releasing emergency kits from three warehouses in Shefa, Efate, and Tafea and is responsible for the washing and hygiene needs in ten of the twenty evacuation centres in Port Vila. The other ten are the responsibility of Save the Children. ADRA reports that while the situation is still very difficult, water is now plumbed in at nine of the ten centres, with the tank at the final centre being refilled by the fire service. The Red Cross is looking after the feeding of the 1,502 people currently at evacuation centres, but ADRA is assisting them with their registration.

ADRA personnel have also been deployed to Tanna and Erromango as part of the inter-agency assessment teams. While dealing with the needs of others, the Adventist Church family in Vanuatu gives thanks that while at least four churches have been destroyed by the cyclone, it would appear that no church members have lost their lives.

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