Cyclone Pam's 155 mph winds snapped trees in half. The Vanuatu government estimates 70 percent of the population was displaced by the storm. Photo: Ivan Watson / CNN

By Bill Weir, Ivan Watson, and Ray Sanchez
25 March 2015

(CNN) – On a quest for what he described as "a Hawaii without hotels, a Bali before burger joints" CNN's Bill Weir came upon the enchanting South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu.

Tanna Island, the southernmost island on a strip that makes up Vanuatu, is considered one of the South Pacific's most romantic locales.

To many Westerners, Vanuatu is a popular holiday destination. It's also one of the poorest nations in the region.

Over the weekend, Tropical Cyclone Pam raked across the archipelago with 155 mph (250 kph) winds, destroying thousands of homes and killing at least 11 people. The death toll is expected to rise.

Images captured by CNN's Ivan Watson and Weir offer glimpses of life on Vanuatu before and after Pam.

Striking beams of light filtered through the clouds over the volcanic island of Vanua Lava before the cyclone. It is a portrait of peace and serenity.

The destruction brought by Pam, including this Tanna Island resort once set on crystal blue waters, could set the economy back years. [more]

Vanuatu: Before and after Tropical Cyclone Pam



Blog Template by Adam Every . Sponsored by Business Web Hosting Reviews