Monday, March 16 2015 @ 08:43 am ACDT
Contributed by: Michael Christiansen
Across the weekend Vanuatu was hit by a category 5 cyclone which is as bad as it gets. Early reports of fatalities are patchy and will sadly be understated. The intensity of this storm was comparable to the 2013 Typhoon Haiyan that left more than 6000 dead in the Philippines. With communications impacted - and Vanuatu with around 250,000 people living across about 65 inhabited islands and in a variety of conditions - the true scale may not be known for sometime.
My family and I enjoyed the hospitality of AFL Vanuatu during a family holiday to Port Vila last June. Like many others we look on from afar in shock and despair for those who have endured this. We wish for - but fear for - the safety of those we haven't heard from.
As far as kicking balls around a paddock - that will be the last thing on the minds of anybody. In Vanuatu - with such widespread destruction the coming days and weeks will be crucial for those left homeless and without access to clean water - and for bringing health systems back into operation and not just back to normal operation. It is for this reason that we urge those who can; to donate. Australian aid flights have already begun arriving. - Via facebook : Give to Vanuatu with drop off points listed around Australia. - Australian Red Cross : Cyclone Pam Vanuatu 2015 appeal. - And cash donations from anywhere via Gofundme