POLITICS

Ottawa still trying to reach nine Canadians affected by cyclone in Vanuatu

03/19/2015 02:10 EDT | Updated 05/19/2015 05:59 EDT
OTTAWA - The Department of Foreign Affairs says it is aware of 43 Canadians potentially affected by Cyclone Pam in the South Pacific archipelago of Vanuatu, but 34 have already left the area or don't require help.

A Foreign Affairs spokeswoman says the remaining nine may also have left, and Canadian consular officials in Canberra, Australia will continue trying to reach them.

The United Nations reported that 11 people were confirmed dead, lowering an earlier report of 24 casualties after realizing some of the victims had been counted more than once.

It also said 3,300 people have been displaced and are seeking shelter in dozens of evacuation centres on the main island of Efate and in the provinces of Torba and Penama.

Officials with the National Disaster Management Office said they had no accurate figures on how many were dead, and aid agencies reported varying numbers.

Vanuatu is made up of over 80 islands, and poor weather and communications issues have hampered relief workers' efforts to reach the outer islands for days.

— With files from The Associated Press