TC Pam – French assistance to Vanuatu [fr]
After Tropical Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu, the President of the French Republic, Mr. François Hollande, has assured the President du Vanuatu, Mr. Baldwin Lonsdale, that France would fully support and assist Vanuatu to face TC Pam disastrous consequences.
On Sunday 15 March, a team from the French Armed Forces in New Caledonie (FANC) has arrived in Port Vila to undertake an initial assessment of the situation on the ground together with the Vanuatu authorities and our Franz partners (Australia and New Zealand). A Gardian has carried out aerial reconnaissance of the islands of Tafea province (Tanna, Erromango, Futuna, Anatom and Aniwa) in the south of the country.
Several teams of emergency response experts have arrived from New Caledonia and French Polynesia and are based in Tanna. Tanna island has been very affected by the cyclone (8 confirmed deaths and around 7 000 displaced or homeless people). Both teams are working together with the Red Cross to clear access for drinking water sources and to rehabilitate water catchment areas. Three medical evacuation missions dealing with a total of 8 people have also been carried out to Port Vila hospital. Around ten French tourists have been evacuated to Noumea by military flights.
The CASA planes from FANC and FAFP (Armed Forces in French Polynesia) have carried out twelve rotations between Noumea, Port Vila and Tanna since 16 March, transporting among others a team of electricians from EEC (Electricité et Eau de Calédonie), supply for the telecommunication provider TVL and also some equipment to relink airports and allow commercial flights to resume . The frigate Vendémiaire with 7 t of supply on board from Red Cross and Solidarité-Tanna NGO has reached Tanna on 19 March. The patrol boat La Glorieuse has reached Erromango for an initial mission and is shortly to unload supplies in Tanna.
With the help of Airbus Helicopters Foundation, a humanitarian flight was carried out on 22 March in Epi, Paama and Ambrym islands upon a request from the Minister of Health. Vaccines and medicines were unloaded on these islands.
France, New Caledonia and French Polynesia are keeping up with their efforts to assist the population of Vanuatu who have been severely affected by TC Pam. Several freight vessels have been chartered in Noumea and in Papeete to deliver humanitarian supplies (food, water, shelters, seeds…) in the coming days.