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Caritas standing by for for news on Vanuatu

Caritas Australia is awaiting assessment of the needs of the people of Vanuatu, which has been battered by Cyclone Ivy, according to national director Jack de Groot.

"We understand there has been no loss of life," he told the Catholic Weekly. "Caritas Australia extends its support and sympathy to all those who have lost their homes and future food supplies because of the cyclone.

"The ability of Caritas Australia to respond to the people of the Pacific is greatly enhanced because of the financial donations made by Australians during Project Compassion. In the recent past this has allowed us to respond to similar crises in Tonga and the Solomons."

Vanuatu officials reported that winds of up to 60-70 knots battered the nation's 80 islands.

Heavy rainfall accompanied the winds leading to flooding of rivers, low-lying plains and coastal areas in many of the southern islands.

"Fortunately, the hurricane moved quickly so the islands did not sustain repeated batterings," said Mr de Groot. "However, the southern islands in the country experienced damage to crops and houses."

Wait for news on Vanuatu (Catholic Weekly 4/3/04)

Caritas Australia
Relief supplies head for Vanuatu after cyclone (Radio Australia 4/3/04)
Australian aid arrives in Vanuatu (The Sunday Age 29/2/04)

4 Mar 2004