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On March 13, Tropical Cyclone Pam, a category-5 storm, made landfall in the Republic of Vanuatu. The storm packed wind gusts of up to 200 miles an hour causing widespread damage in the archipelago nation in the South Pacific Ocean.
According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the cyclone hit the string of 65 tropical islands that make up Vanuatu. OCHA reported “severe and widespread damage” across the bigger islands of the country such as Efate, Erromango and Tanna.
The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is supporting partner GlobalMedic to meet the critical need for safe drinking water and basic hygiene materials for the most affected populations in Efate, Shefa, Tanna and Tafea provinces.
About 150,000 Aquatab water purification tablets and 510 UMCOR hygiene kits will be distributed to the most vulnerable persons, and 510 Rainfresh Household Water Purification Units will be installed in communal areas.
The death toll stands at 11, and about 3,300 people are sheltering in 37 evacuation centers on Efate and in the provinces of Torba and Penama, according to the UN.
You can help UMCOR respond to emergencies like this one with your gifts to International Disaster Response, Advance #985450.