BULLETIN: Operation USA Assessing Recovery Needs in Vanuatu Following Tropical Cyclone Pam

Los Angeles, Calif., March 13, 2015– Operation USA, a Los Angeles-based international relief agency, announced today that it is assessing needs and preparing to aid communities in The Republic of Vanuatu in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Pam. The Category 5 storm is being reported as the largest storm to make landfall since Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) devastated the Philippines in November 2013.


According to the U.S. military’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center, Cyclone Pam has generated winds as high as 165 mph, and has caused coastal flooding, with water levels reaching two feet above normal tide levels. The storm surge was ongoing as of Saturday afternoon local time.


Early reports from aid workers in the area indicate massive devastation across the nation’s islands, many of which have weak infrastructure and lack buildings that can withstand the storm’s high-speed winds. Many communities have reportedly lost communication and power as the storm continues to bear down on Vanuatu. The full extent of the damage is not yet known.


The Republic of Vanuatu is an island chain in the South Pacific Ocean, about 1,200 miles northeast of Brisbane, Australia, with a total population of around 224,000.


Operation USA will continue to monitor the storm as details become available and will prepare to deliver aid as opportunities arise.


Donate to Operation USA’s ongoing relief and recovery efforts worldwide online at donate.opusa.org, by phone at 1-800-678-7255 or, by check made out to Operation USA, PO BOX 36188, Los Angeles, CA 90036-0188. Donations can also be made via text message: text AID to 50555 to donate $10. Text donations are collected for the benefit of Operation USA by the mGive Foundation and subject to the terms found at www.mGive.org/t.


Founded in 1979, Operation USA helps communities alleviate the effects of disasters, disease and endemic poverty by providing privately-funded relief, reconstruction and development aid throughout the world. The Los Angeles based non-government organization offers material and financial assistance to community-based organizations that promote sustainable development, leadership and capacity building, income generating activities, education, health services, and advocacy on behalf of vulnerable people. Learn more at www.OpUSA.org.


Mary Dolan
Operation USA