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Vanuatu hospital struggles as more cyclone victims arrive

18 March 2015, 12:29

Sydney - Doctors at Vanuatu's main hospital have so far treated 150 patients with cyclone-related injuries and illnesses, a news report said on Wednesday, after a powerful cyclone hit the region over the weekend.

Only one wing of the main hospital in the capital Port Vila was operational, medical superintendent Richard Leona told Radio New Zealand.

"The biggest challenge we have here is trying to manage an influx of patients with a very limited team and resource," Leona said, adding that more injured victims were expected from outer islands.

A team of 20 Australian medical personnel headed to Vanuatu on Wednesday to set up a temporary ward in the hospital car park, Australian officials said.

Also read: UN: At least 24 dead in Vanuatu after Cyclone Pam

An advance team of 54 Australians had reportedly already begun repair and clean-up work at the site.

The UN revised up the death toll from the storm to 24.

"There are certain areas that have not been accessible and we will have to see what figures are like once we get to those," Farhan Haq, a UN spokesperson told reporters in New York.

Vanuatu was hardest hit when Pam ripped through the region late on Friday. The cluster of dozens of islands experienced winds in excess of 250km/h and flooding caused by heavy rains.



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