Cyclone Pam battered South Pacific islands on Saturday, leaving a trail of destruction (Getty)

(WFI) Oceania Football Confederation president David Chung has expressed his sadness at the devastation caused by Tropical Cyclone Pam throughout the Pacific

The Category 5 cyclone at the weekend left a trail of destruction as it tore through Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Nationwide states of emergency were declared in the latter two countries.

Eight people are confirmed dead, with that figure expected to rise, and 30 are injured and hospitalised in the Vanuatu capital of Port Vila.

“The full extent of the damage in Vanuatu is still being assessed but it is already clear that there has been widespread damage with many families having lost their homes, including some of our colleagues at the Vanuatu Football Federation,” Chung said in a statement.

“Our thoughts and prayers remain with all those people who have been affected by this devastating cyclone. We must now all unite to support Vanuatu and the wider Pacific community as the rebuilding phase begins.”

The majority of buildings in Vanuatu have either been totally destroyed or sustained some form of damage.

Up to 150,000 people have been affected by the cyclone with 42,000 homes damaged and at least 15,000 of those left uninhabitable.

The focus of concern among leaders in Vanuatu remains its outlying islands where the extent of the damage is yet to be assessed. Communication to a number of areas still hasn’t been re-established and aid agencies remain unable to distribute much needed supplies across the archipelago’s 80 islands, according to the OFC.

Chung is currently coordinating a plan to identify how his confederation can assist in the rebuilding of Vanuatu.

By INSIDER editor Mark Bisson

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