Cyclone Kevin: Vanuatu reeling from back-to-back tropical cyclones with 80 percent of the population impacted

The devastating effects of back-to-back tropical cyclones on Vanuatu have left 80 percent of the population impacted. 

Cyclone Kevn became the second major weather event in less than a week to hit Vanuatu after category four Cyclone Judy crashed onto its shores on Wednesday.

On Saturday, the Fiji Meteorology Service upgraded tropical Cyclone Kevin to a category 5. 

It said the huge weather system is moving southeast at 24km/h. It said it lies to the far west of Fiji and is gradually moving southeast. NIWA said it poses no direct threat to New Zealand.

A state of emergency has been declared for areas of Vanuatu impacted most by severe tropical cyclone Judy which flattened properties before Kevin settled in.

Save the Children, a nonprofit organization, said communities in Vanuatu are slowly beginning to pick up the pieces after the two cyclones tore through the Pacific Island nation. 

Initial reports from Vanuatu's National Disaster Management Office have indicated approximately 251,319 people, of which 125,500 are children, have been impacted by the dual tropical cyclones, nearly 80 percent of the country's population.

Save the Children Pacific director Kim Koch said the extent of the damage is still unclear but warned it will be immense. 

"What we're seeing on the ground is just sheer devastation. As families have started to pick up the pieces that have been left behind by TC Judy and TC Kevin, we're seeing houses destroyed, some with roofs blown right off, as well as damage to critical infrastructure like roads, schools and hospitals," Koch said.

"People here in Vanuatu barely had time to register the impacts of Cyclone Judy before having to bunker down for a second powerful storm."

Moteuka local Valorie Patrick​, 39, said her family in Port Vila has lost two houses to cyclone Kevin.

"The homes were swept down. The corrugated iron roof was ripped off. Everything is wet. A lot of things are destroyed," she told Stuff

Patrick's mother and sisters are sheltering in a third home, their only house which did not lose its roof.

The National Disaster Office has indicated no assessments of damage will be undertaken until Cyclone Kevin has passed.

The Government has already requested France to provide military aircraft for reconnaissance, according to RNZ