Tropical Cyclone Pam leaves trail of destruction in South Pacific

  • Volcano - Sangay, Ecuador

    19 minutes ago WATCH

  • Earthquake - 5.4 - northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge

    18 minutes ago ADVISORY

  • Volcano - Suwanosejima, Japan

    19 minutes ago ADVISORY

  • Volcano - Cotopaxi, Ecuador

    1 hour ago WARNING

  • Highwind - Advisory (Hawaiian Islands)

    1 hour ago ADVISORY

  • Highwind - Warning (Hawaiian Islands)

    1 hour ago WARNING

  • Volcano - Semeru, Indonesia

    1 hour ago WARNING

  • Volcano - Reventador, Ecuador

    1 hour ago WARNING

  • Snowfall - Creston, British Columbia, Canada

    2 hours ago WARNING

  • Winter Storm - Western, United States

    2 hours ago WARNING

  • Volcano - Fuego, Guatemala

    2 hours ago WARNING

  • Tropical Cyclone - Mandous

    3 hours ago WARNING

  • Volcano - Popocatepetl, Mexico

    3 hours ago WARNING

  • Earthquake - 5.8 - 14 km NW of Ciranjang-hilir, Indonesia

    13 hours ago WATCH

  • Earthquake - 5.5 - 9 km E of Tsurib, Russia

    7 hours ago WARNING

  • Earthquake - 5.1 - 140 km NE of Hihifo, Tonga

    3 hours ago ADVISORY

  • Extreme Cold - Attawapiskat, Ontario, Canada

    4 hours ago WARNING

  • Wildfire - NW of State of Queensland, Queensland, Australia

    4 hours ago INFORMATION

  • Wildfire - SE of Jilkminggan, Northern Territory, Australia

    4 hours ago INFORMATION

  • Rainfall - Sept-Iles, Québec, Canada

    4 hours ago WARNING

  • Volcano - Sabancaya, Peru

    5 hours ago ADVISORY

  • Earthquake - 5.1 - Taiwan

    21 hours ago ADVISORY

  • Rainfall - S of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

    5 hours ago WARNING

  • Earthquake - 5.5 - 174 km W of Abepura, Indonesia

    9 hours ago WATCH

  • Wildfire - S of Diapaga, Tapoa, Burkina Faso

    7 hours ago INFORMATION

  • Wildfire - N of Ouadda, Haute, Kotto, Central African Republic

    7 hours ago INFORMATION

  • Wildfire - NE of Ndele, Bamingui, Bangoran, Central African Republic

    7 hours ago INFORMATION

  • Wildfire - NW of Ndele, Bamingui-Bangoran, Central African Republic

    7 hours ago INFORMATION

  • Wildfire - N of Zemio, Haut-Mbomou, Central African Republic

    7 hours ago INFORMATION

  • Wildfire - N of Zemio, Haut-Mbomou, Central African Republic

    7 hours ago INFORMATION

  • Volcano - Aira, Japan

    8 hours ago WARNING

  • Volcano - Nevado del Ruiz, Colombia

    9 hours ago WARNING

  • Storms - South Africa

    9 hours ago WARNING

  • Storms - Brunei

    9 hours ago WARNING

  • Storms - Singapore

    9 hours ago WARNING

  • Landslides - Risaralda Department, Colombia

    9 hours ago WARNING

  • Extreme Cold - Fort Chipewyan, Alberta, Canada

    10 hours ago WARNING

  • Flood - Parana Basin, Paraguay and Cuiaba Rivers, Brazil and Bolivia

    11 hours ago WARNING

  • Flood - SE of Mahakam Basin, Indonesia

    11 hours ago WARNING

  • Flood - Ca Mau, Cà Mau, Vietnam

    11 hours ago WARNING

  • Flood - N of Rosario, Entre Ríos and Santa Fe, Argentina

    11 hours ago WARNING

  • Wildfire - NE of Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina

    13 hours ago INFORMATION

  • Wildfire - E of Bermejo, Tarija, Bolivia

    13 hours ago INFORMATION

  • Fog - Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

    15 hours ago ADVISORY

  • Extreme Cold - Norman Wells, Northwest Territories, Canada

    15 hours ago WARNING

  • Wildfire - SE of Mount Surprise, Queensland, Australia

    16 hours ago INFORMATION

  • Storms - Southern Portugal

    17 hours ago WARNING

  • Floods - Central Peru

    17 hours ago WARNING

  • Volcano - San Miguel, El Salvador

    1 day ago ADVISORY

  • Earthquake - 5.4 - 178 km SE of Gizo, Solomon Islands

    17 hours ago ADVISORY

  • Storms - Brazil

    17 hours ago WARNING

  • Landslides - Central Vietnam

    18 hours ago WARNING

  • Flood - NE of Dolores, Buenos Aires, Argentina

    18 hours ago WARNING

  • Flood - Nile Basin, Egypt

    18 hours ago WARNING

  • Flood - New Amsterdam, Mahaica-Berbice, Guyana

    18 hours ago WARNING

  • Flood - SW of Nueve de Julio, Buenos Aires, Argentina

    18 hours ago WARNING

  • Flood - Machilipatnam, Andhra Pradesh, Puducherry and Telangana, India

    18 hours ago WARNING

  • Flood - W of Merauke, Papua, Indonesia

    18 hours ago WARNING

  • Flood - S of Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico

    18 hours ago WARNING

  • Flood - Ganges Basin, China, India and Nepal

    18 hours ago WARNING

  • Flood - Salween Basin, S of Salween River, China, India and Myanmar

    18 hours ago WARNING

  • Tornado - Yogyakarta, Bantul Regency, Indonesia

    18 hours ago INFORMATION

  • Flood - N of Baoshan, Qinghai, Xizang and Yunnan, China

    18 hours ago WARNING

  • Flood - SE of Jinzhou, Liaoning, China

    18 hours ago WARNING

  • Flood - SE of Shatt Al Arab Basin, Iran and Iraq

    18 hours ago WARNING

  • Flood - NE of Sumbawanga, Rukwa, Tanzania

    18 hours ago WARNING

  • Drought - High Plains United States

    18 hours ago WARNING

  • Drought - Northwestern United States

    18 hours ago WARNING

  • Drought - Southwestern United States

    18 hours ago WARNING

  • Drought - Hawaii, United States

    18 hours ago WARNING

  • Drought - Federated States of Micronesia

    18 hours ago WARNING

  • Drinking Water - SE of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada

    19 hours ago ADVISORY

  • Wildfire - N of Obo, Haut, Mbomou, Central African Republic

    19 hours ago INFORMATION

  • Wildfire - NE of Ndele, Bamingui, Bangoran, Central African Republic

    19 hours ago INFORMATION

  • Wildfire - SW of Aweil, North Bahr-al-Ghazal, South Sudan

    19 hours ago INFORMATION

  • Wildfire - SW of Aweil, North Bahr-al-Ghazal, South Sudan

    19 hours ago INFORMATION

  • Wildfire - NW of Aweil, North Bahr-al-Ghazal, South Sudan

    19 hours ago INFORMATION

  • Wildfire - SE of Birao, Vakaga, Central African Republic

    19 hours ago INFORMATION

  • Landslides - Ishikawa, Japan

    20 hours ago WARNING

  • Storms - Vietnam

    21 hours ago WARNING

  • Drought - Eastern Africa

    21 hours ago WARNING

  • Earthquake - 5.2 - Luzon, Philippines

    23 hours ago ADVISORY

  • Volcano - Sheveluch, Russia

    1 day ago ADVISORY

  • Extreme Heat - Uruguay

    1 day ago WARNING

  • Storms - North Island, New Zealand

    1 day ago WARNING

  • Storms - Sri Lanka

    1 day ago WARNING

  • Avalanche - Colorado, United States

    1 day ago WARNING

  • Winter Storm - Southern Finland

    1 day ago WARNING

  • Flood - Volga Basin, Russia and Kazakhstan

    1 day ago WARNING

  • Flood - E of Daan, Jilin, China

    1 day ago WARNING

  • Flood - Pallasovka, Volgograd, Russia

    1 day ago WARNING

  • Flood - Huai He Basin, N of Huai He River, China

    1 day ago WARNING

  • Flood - La Paz, Baja California, Baja California Sur and Sonora, Mexico

    1 day ago WARNING

  • Flood - Balancan, Tabasco, Mexico

    1 day ago WARNING

  • Flood - SE of Viseu, Pará, Brazil

    1 day ago WARNING

  • Flood - W of Parnaiba, Piauí, Brazil

    1 day ago WARNING

  • Flood - E of Baoding, Hebei, China

    1 day ago WARNING

  • Flood - E of Guayaquil, Guayas, Ecuador

    1 day ago WARNING

  • Flood - Yancheng, East China

    1 day ago WARNING

  • Volcano - Villarrica, Chile

    1 day ago ADVISORY

  • Earthquake - 5.5 - Mid-Indian Ridge

    1 day ago WATCH

  • Volcano - Mauna Loa, United States

    4 days ago ADVISORY

  • Drought - Tuvalu

    1 day ago WARNING

  • Extreme Heat - Northern Territory, Australia

    1 day ago WARNING

  • Extreme Heat - Western Australia

    1 day ago WARNING

  • Floods - Central Vietnam

    1 day ago INFORMATION

  • Extreme Heat - Southern Vietnam

    1 day ago WARNING

  • Storms - Eastern Malaysia

    1 day ago WARNING

  • Storms - Peninsular Malaysia

    1 day ago WARNING

  • Storms - Southern India

    1 day ago WARNING

  • Volcano - Taal, Philippines

    2 days ago WARNING

  • Drought - South Korea

    2 days ago WARNING

  • Extreme Heat - Queensland, Australia

    2 days ago WARNING

  • Storms - Southern Italy

    2 days ago WARNING

  • Extreme Heat - South Australia

    2 days ago WARNING

  • Cholera - Haiti

    1 week ago WARNING

  • Floods - Johannesburg City, South Africa

    2 days ago INFORMATION

  • Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Europe

    7 months ago WARNING

  • Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Africa

    7 months ago WARNING

  • Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Middle East

    7 months ago WARNING

  • Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) - North America

    7 months ago WARNING

  • Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Asia Pacific

    7 months ago WARNING

  • Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Latin America/Caribbean

    7 months ago WARNING

  • Ebola Virus - Uganda

    1 month ago WARNING

  • Ebola Virus - Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo

    3 months ago WARNING

  • Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Hawaii

    7 months ago WARNING

March 16, 2015

On the evening of March 13 (local time), Severe Tropical Cyclone Pam tore through the South Pacific Island nation of Vanuatu with destructive winds that flattened homes and knocked out communication. Heavy rainfall and storm surge caused widespread flooding and washed away roads and bridges, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) situational report.

As a category 5 cyclone, TC Pam severely affected the nation’s capital of Port Vila, located on Efate Island in Shefa Province, which is the only province at this stage to be officially declared in a State of Emergency. As of Monday, March 16 (local time), UNOCHA reports that the National Disaster Management Office has confirmed 24 fatalities so far as well as 3,300 people displaced and sheltering in 37 evacuation centers in Torba and Penama Provinces, and on Efate Island. These figures are expected to rise once communication is re-established with the nation’s outer islands.

Vanuatu’s President Baldwin Lonsdale appealed for international support in the wake of the nation’s “unprecedented damage,” reporting that “more than 90 percent of the buildings have been destroyed,” on the island of Efate. The Thomson Reuters Foundation has a summary report, but individual detailed news updates issued by the Government of Vanuatu are being posted on to ReliefWeb, as well. Of grave concern is the unknown impact to the outer islands, as disaster management officials and relief workers struggle to establish contact.

The UNOCHA Vanuatu Humanitarian Team (VHT) is supporting the Government-led response, according to OCHA’s “Vanuatu: Severe Tropical Cyclone Pam Situation Report No. 1,” and has agreed that evacuation centers, assessments, relief distribution, and shelter are the main priorities. Additionally, a UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination team arrived in Port Vila with personnel from OCHA’s Regional Office of the Pacific to support the coordination of incoming humanitarian assistance. Despite damage to the airport, commercial aircraft have resumed flights to Port Vila. UNOCHA also notes that water and electrical service are being rapidly restored in the capital.

The Asian Development Banks reports (ABD) that before reaching Vanuatu, Pam had already caused damage in some neighboring countries in the region including Tuvalu, Kiribati, and Solomon Islands. The Government of Tuvalu declared a State of Emergency on March 13, after tidal surges caused by Cyclone Pam to the southwest washed away houses and crops (RNZI). Tropical Cyclone Pam, as described by the New Zealand MetService (NZ Met), is now a low pressure system, still capable of generating heavy rainfall and gale force winds. The last interaction of Pam with inhabited land is expected to be in the Chatham Islands. “Damaging gales, rain and heavy swells [in the Chatham Islands] are expected to last through into Wednesday evening” local time.

Pacific Disaster Center continues to support disaster response operations for this event, and provide decision support information and products via DisasterAWARE EMOPS (Emergency Operations) application for disaster managers and humanitarian practitioners. If you are an emergency manager or humanitarian practitioner and would like access to EMOPS, please request access here.

For more information on the impacts of Tropical Cyclone Pam:
• Look at the latest UNOCHA situation report, and
• Visit Relief web for additional sources and links. 

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