The weather is a strange bedfellow. One minute we are praising its beauty and the next minute we are cursing its vicious relentlessness. We spend a lot of time talking about and tracking weather patterns. News channels run weather stories before almost any other story because we want to know how we should act and react when the weather changes its demeanor.
We call Atlantic Ocean storms hurricanes and Pacific Ocean storms Cyclones. Both of them pack winds that can destroy cities, and they carry water and rain that can bury cities in sand, dirt and rubble. People at Anastasia Date know that this year’s Cyclone Pam is one of the nastiest storms in recent history. Unfortunately Vanuatu, the Pacific Ocean archipelago, found out first-hand how horrible a cyclone can be.
Reports of the damage are still coming in because the communication systems in the outer islands were destroyed. Early reports from UNICEF indicate that entire villages were wiped out. No one knows how many people were impacted by the storm, but initial reports claim eight lives were lost, but many fear that figure will rise.
Vanuatu has a population of 267,000 spread over 65 islands. The islands are already suffering from the effects of global warming. Some of the islands are returning to the sea thanks to sea level changes. Cyclone Pam adds more water and uncertainty to the islands.