Cyclone Rapid Response

Airlink is currently helping its partners respond to Cyclone Pam, which hit the island nation of Vanuatu on Friday, March 13. While the full extent of the damage caused by this Category 5 storm is still being assessed, reports suggest that at least 11 people have died, +166,000 were affected and are in urgent need food assistance, at least 75,000 are homeless and 110,000 remain without potable water. Approximately 90% of structures in the main island of Efate have been destroyed or damaged, and whole villages have been wiped out across the smaller islands. 

Almost all communication lines are damaged and 80% of power lines are down, severely disrupting information on the humanitarian situation and needs, especially from outlying southern islands. Port Vila's international airport has been closed until Monday due to damage, making it difficult for aid workers to move into the area quickly and make an accurate assessment of the damage. So far, anticipated needs include shelter, WASH and food, and aid agencies are working to meet these needs across all islands.

We are receiving requests from our nonprofit partners to support relief workers and aid cargo to affected communities, and we have already helped move four relief workers into the country from Team Rubicon, five disaster response assessment team (DART) members from All Hands Volunteers, and two technical personnel from Disaster Tech Lab in order to perform reconnaissance, conduct damage assessments, and begin restoring infrastructure.