Geography in the news

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Thursday 19th March 2015

Keywords

Hurricane | Cyclone | Tropical storm | Cause | Effect | Response

Read the Cyclone Pam article on the BBC website.

Teaching ideas

  • Provide students with a copy of the article and ask them to list the five effects of the cyclone in Vanuatu.
  • An additional exercise would be to separate these effects as either primary or secondary.
  • Students could also be asked to identify cause and responses.

Cause:

The cyclone was a category five storm, with winds of up to 300 km/h.  This struck Vanuatu early on Saturday.

Effects:

  • A state of emergency was declared
  • People are homeless after their houses were destroyed.  In the capital, Port Vila up to 90% of housing in had reportedly been seriously damaged.
  • Buildings, including schools and clinics were destroyed
  • The main hospital in the capital suffered severe damage
  • At least eight people are reported to have been killed although this is expected to rise e.g. unconfirmed reports said 44 people had died in the north-east of Vanuatu
  • Thousands of people had to spend a second night in shelters.
  • Water isn't running clean from taps any more so there's a concern about contamination.
  • Communications have been destroyed
  • Power lines have been blown down
  • Uprooted trees have blocked roads
  • There was localised flooding

Responses:

  • Deliveries of aid have arrived on air force planes from New Zealand and Australia
  • The UK, France, UN and European Union have also promised help
  • A UN disaster assessment team is due to arrive in Vanuatu in the coming hours

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