Cyclone Donna Threatens Homes, Crops in Vanuatu

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (May 5, 2017) — Save the Children stands ready to assist communities affected by Cyclone Donna, which is tracking across northern Vanuatu, as early reports of damage to homes and food gardens now filtering in.

Cyclone Donna is moving slowly over Vanuatu and could continue to produce heavy rain and winds across the country throughout the weekend and into early next week.

Save the Children’s Country Director for Vanuatu, Georgia Tacey, said there were no initial indications of injury or death, but early reports from the remote Torba Province suggests the deluge has already caused significant damage to homes and crops.

"These are subsistence communities that rely heavily on root crops that are particularly vulnerable to heavy rain. We have serious concerns about the scale of damage to these food sources," Tacey said.

"We have also received early reports of widespread damage to homes and some local people are now seeking shelter in nearby caves. The phone network in the northern provinces is down. And our staff on Ambae and Santo have shut our field offices and have sought cover in evacuation centers to wait out the storm."

"As Cyclone Donna lashes more and more of the country we are ready to provide any humanitarian assistance requested by Vanuatu authorities."

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