First aid teams reach Vanuatu, find widespread devastation




 
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March 15th, 2015  
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Topic: First aid teams reach Vanuatu, find widespread devastation


By Christopher McCall and Lincoln Feast SYDNEY (Reuters) - The first aid teams to reach Vanuatu on Sunday encountered widespread devastation and authorities declared a state of emergency after a "monster" cyclone tore through the vulnerable Pacific island nation. Aid workers were particularly worried about the southern island of Tanna and an official with the Australian Red Cross told Reuters a aircraft had managed to land there and confirmed "widespread destruction". "Virtually every building that is not concrete has been flattened," said the official, adding two deaths had been confirmed on the island which has a population of about 29,000 and is about 200 km (125 miles) south of the capital, Port Vila. Witnesses in Port Vila described sea surges of up to eight meters (26 feet) and widespread flooding as the category 5 cyclone hit on the weekend.




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