15 Mar 2015

45 percent of Tuvalu population displaced - PM

4:01 pm on 15 March 2015

The Prime Minister of Tuvalu says nearly half of the population has been displaced by Cyclone Pam.

Enele Sopoaga said most people living on the outer islands had been severely affected, with houses and crops being washed away and at least one island being entirely flooded.

Tuvalu has a population of 9876 at the last census in 2013.

He said there was a health and safety concern following some cemeteries being destroyed.

"Forty five percent of the population of Tuvalu, most of whom are on the outer islands, have been affected, badly, severly affected. We are worried about the aftermath in terms of hygeine and supplies of essential materials like food, medicine and water."

Enele Sopoaga said government boats would travel to the outer islands this afternoon to assess the extent of the damage and hand out emergency supplies.

Tuvalu - tidal surges 16x10

Tuvalu has been battered by Cyclone Pam's storm surge over the last four days Photo: Supplied