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France sends aid missions to Vanuatu after Cyclone Pam hits

Homes destroyed by the cyclone Pam in Port Villa, Vanuatu, Pacific Island, 16 March 2015. Reuters/Dave Hunt/Pool

France on Monday sent aid missions to Vanuatu after the cyclone Pam hit the Pacific island during the weekend. More than 100,000 people are reported to have lost their home.

French aid missions - along with teams from Australia and New zealand - arrived on Monday at the capital Port-Vila airport, loaded with emergency equipment, food, water, shelter and medicine.

"The situation is serious, we need to rebuild and a lot of people are homeless" said Alain du Boispéan, the French Ambassador in Vanuatu.

According to humanitarian organisation Oxfam, up to 90 per cent of homes have been damaged in Port-Vila, the nation main island where 65,000 people live.

The official death toll in the capital Port-Vila stands at six with more than 30 injured, although there is no full figure across the Vanuatu archipelago of 80 islands and 270,000 inhabitants.

So far, no aid has yet reached the Tanna island where 30,000 people live.

"Traditional houses have all been destroyed and vegetation and crops have also been devastated" said Boispéan as it appears that the southern island of Tanna suffered widespread damage.