Kiwis helping in cyclone-hit Vanuatu make desperate plea

Cyclone damage in Vanuatu

New Zealanders working in cyclone ravaged parts of Vanuatu have made a desperate plea for help.

1News spoke with Whangamatā's Greg and Nik Laing who are in Pango, in the south-eastern part of Efate, Vanuatu.

They’d only been living there for seven weeks when the island country was hammered by two tropical cyclones and earthquakes.

Most recently Cyclone Kevin made landfall on Saturday with wind gusts of up to 185km/h.

Nik said powerlines are still down, and people are desperately trying to dry out their belongings.

“We've seen people looking for shade,” she said.

“There were people asking before if there were any high houses they could live in.

“There’s nowhere to go.”

The New Zealanders have set up a Givealittle to help with the rebuilding efforts.

Sammy Kalomtak, who lives in Pango village, told 1News that the situation on the ground could further deteriorate quickly.

“We need food,” he said.

“I think within one week or two weeks’ time people will start looking for food, so we're asking for your help please.”

New Zealand yesterday sent an Air Force C-130 Hercules with relief supplies including water containers, kits for temporary shelters, and family hygiene kits.

“A seven member team of disaster management experts from Fire and Emergency New Zealand’s Urban Search and Rescue, the New Zealand Defence Force and MFAT is being deployed to assist with the response," Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta said.

“This initial package of assistance includes a financial contribution of $150,000 to allow the New Zealand High Commission to respond rapidly to requests from the Government of Vanuatu.”


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