Disaster relief sought for cyclone-ravaged South Pacific islands

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International aid agencies ramped up appeals for cyclone-hit Vanuatu on Wednesday, warning that the powerful storm, which affected more than two-thirds of the South Pacific island nation, had wiped out crops and destroyed fishing fleets, raising the risk of hunger and disease.

Residents of the southern island of Tanna said food and basic supplies were running low while relief workers were still battling to reach many islands pummeled by Cyclone Pam’s gusts of more than 185 mph on Friday and Saturday, according to The Guardian.

On Saturday, Pam devastated Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands.

Members of the Ocean Cruising Club, many of whom have visited these islands and made friends among the residents, have asked how best to reach out with assistance that will have the most beneficial impact on the lives of those most affected, according to England-based Practical Boat Owner.

“There are many international organizations that will be helping Vanuatu,” Jim Thomsen told the publication. “One organization, Sea Mercy, has their own sailboats and focuses on reaching the remote islands that are usually the last to receive aid.”

Sea Mercy, a non-profit dedicated to providing critical care via boat to those in need after natural disasters, is sending its disaster relief fleet to help the remote islands of the South Pacific, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association.

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