Animals are often overlooked or forgotten in natural disasters like Cyclone Pam, which ripped through the archipelago in early March, leaving at least 13 people dead and thousands of people homeless. In rural communities, this means an array of animals - goats, pigs, cattle and chickens as well as dogs and cats - suffer tremendously from storms' relentless winds, rains and floods. There are some 638,000 farm animals in Vanuatu alone, says Carla Pisarro, media manager for World Animal Protection.
She told The Dodo that animals struggle not just during storms but after as well. Besides the sometimes fruitless effort to find food and water, "animals are also suffering from exposure to sun at daytime and cool temperatures at nighttime due to lack of adequate shelter ... in addition, animals are showing signs of pneumonia and worms, which are expected to worsen without further intervention."