Suva (Fiji): Tropical Cyclone Pam smashed Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu, causing massive destruction last night.
The Australian Red Cross said through Twitter that “humanitarian needs will be enormous. Many people have lost their homes. Shelter, food and water (have become) urgent priorities” in Port Vila.”
After several hours of torrential rain and destructive hurricane force winds, the cyclone had weakened from the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane to a Category 4. The capital was lashed with record 9 inches of rain in 36 hours.
The forecast is that Pam will move southeastward along the western edge of the southern islands of Vanuatu and will continue to weaken while it is expected to pass east of New Zealand on Sunday and Monday.