11 Mar 2015

UNICEF arrives in Vanuatu as cyclone approaches

4:14 pm on 11 March 2015

Preparations in Vanuatu are country-wide as the disaster prone nation readies itself for Cyclone Pam.

The category three cyclone is heading between Vanuatu and Fiji, but tracking much closer to Vanuatu.

Winds of 75 kilometres per hour are expected to affect the northern provinces of Vanuatu within the next 12 to 24 hours.

Alice Clements from UNICEF's Pacific office arrived in the country yesterday and says due to its geography, the entire country is vulnerable.

"There's preparations at the government level, at institutional levels, and then of course with communities and children who are always worse affected by these types of disasters. There's government appointed shelters for people who are living in low income housing areas who are very vulnerable as well."

Alice Clements says the cyclone has the potential to inflict quite a lot of damage over a period of days.

Satellite image of depression east of Vanuatu

A satellite image of the tropical depression near Vanuatu earlier this week, before it developed into Cyclone Pam. Photo: Fiji Meteorological Service