Powerful winds from Cyclone Pam have caused widespread destruction in the Vanuatu islands, killing at least eight people, aid officials have said.
Houses in the capital, Port Vila, were destroyed and “people were wandering the streets looking for help”, said Tom Skirrow of Save the Children.
Officials in Port Vila said that “there is no power or running water in Vanuatu’s capital”.
There are reports of entire villages being destroyed in more remote areas, according to Chloe Morrison, a World Vision Emergency Communications Officer.
“It’s still really quite dangerous outside. Most people are still hunkering down,” she said.
“The damage is quite extensive in Port Vila but there are so many more vulnerable islands.
“I can’t even imagine what it’s like in those vulnerable communities.”
Vanuatu’s President said he had a “heavy heart” and appealed for aids.
Pam has brought winds of up to 270km/h (170mph) and torrential rain.
Australia is preparing to send a crisis response team to Vanuatu if needed, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said.
“There are destructive winds, rain, flooding, landslides, sea surges and very rough seas and the storm is exceedingly destructive there,” she said.
Mr Skirrow said: “The scene here this morning is a complete devastation – houses are destroyed, trees are down, roads are blocked and people are wandering the streets looking for help.
“Communications are down across much of the country with the total extent of the devastation unlikely to be known for several days.”
UNICEF spokeswoman Alice Clements described the cyclone as “15-30 minutes of absolute terror” as it passed over Port Vila.
“I saw the sliding doors from my three-storey-hotel room completely blow away – it was terrifying,” she said.