Port Vila, March 17:
At least 24 people were killed after a category 5 cyclone hit the South Pacific island of Vanuatu, authorities said on Tuesday.
Cyclone Pam hit the island on March 13, causing massive destruction to life and property, Xinhua reported.
According to a latest situation report from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 24 people were confirmed killed in the cyclone – 11 from the southern province of Tafea, eight from Efate island, and five from Tanna island.
There are 3,300 people sheltered in 37 evacuation centres, the report said.
On the island of Efate, where the capital city of Port Vila is located, an estimated 90 percent of structures were damaged or destroyed.
The government has declared a state of emergency in parts of the country. Commercial flights remain suspended and communication with remote areas are still down.
Vanuatu has a population of 267,000 spread over 65 small and big islands.
Cyclone Pam is the strongest storm to make landfall in the Pacific typhoon region since Haiyan hit the Philippines in 2013, obliterating parts of Leyte. Over 6,000 people were killed due to it.