19 Mar 2015

Damage 'like a tsunami'

1:09 pm on 19 March 2015

The damage in Vanuatu caused by Cyclone Pam is much worse than previously thought.

Radio New Zealand International reporter Koroi Hawkins says it was originally estimated that 70 percent of the country had been badly damaged by the storm but following an assessment of the outer islands yesterday that's now been scaled up to 90 percent.

He says flying over the capital Port Vila yesterday the extent of the damage he could see was surreal.

"It was totally devastated, everything like from the coast all the way up to when the hills start in Port Vila is quite a long way. Everything was flattened in one direction, it was like a tsunami type hit without the water."

Koroi Hawkins says water supplies are expected to be released by the Vanuatu government today for distribution.