02:04 GMT +317 July 2019
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    Local residents look through the remains of a small shelter in Port Vila, the capital city of the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu.

    Vanuatu's President Blames Climate Change for Cyclone Pam

    © REUTERS / UNICEF Pacific/Handout via Reuters
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    Vanuatu's President Baldwin Lonsdale said Monday that climate change was a key factor in the devastation wrought on the Pacific nation by Super Cyclone Pam.

    "Climate change is contributing to the disaster in Vanuatu," the President said in comments carried on Australian television ahead of his departure from Japan to Sydney.

    Super Cyclone Pam smashed into the island archipelago late Friday, bringing sustained winds of more than 155 miles per hour and causing widespread damage. Six people were killed and 30 injured in the capital Port Vila alone, Agence France-Presse reported.

    Aid agencies estimate more than 90 percent of housing has been damaged or destroyed in the capital, which has a population of about 45,000.

    About 1,000 people had sought shelter in evacuation centers in Port Vila as the storm passed over, officials said.

    Aid agencies worry about the safety of tens of thousands of people living on the southern islands just as the authorities are struggling to reestablish communications with communities there after the storm finally swept out to sea late Saturday.

    Related:

    State of Emergency Declared in Vanuatu Over 'Monster' Cyclone
    Half Of Vanuatu People Including Over 50,000 Children Affected by Cyclone
    Tags:
    cyclone, damage, global warming, Vanuatu
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