14 Mar 2014

Unconfirmed reports 6 people missing in Vanuatu after cyclone

3:03 pm on 14 March 2014

Local media in Vanuatu is saying there are six people missing following tropical cyclone Lusi, in addition to the three confirmed dead.

Vanuatu's Daily Post newspaper says the cyclone destroyed a tiny village of 60 people in Santo leaving three mothers and three children missing and four men seriously injured.

The authorities fear the death toll could rise as they build a better understanding of the damage in remote areas.

Police from Luganville have been sent to help in the search for the missing villagers.

Marae Village in Shefa province was split in half by landslides and raging waves, leaving behind a waterway four metres across and three metres deep.

Vanuatu's Disaster Management Office is currently conducting an aerial sweep of the country to assess the damage to the cut off areas.

Its director, Shadrack Welegtabit, says almost half of Vanuatu's population has been affected, and he will know more when the aerial surveillence concludes early this evening.

He says most of damage is to food crops.