On March 17, Cyclone Pam swept through the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu. NASA has now released a disturbing set of before-and-after photos captured by the Lansat 8 satellite.

These images were taken a mere three days after the storm hit the islands. As you can see in the image below, the island of Erromango, which is home to about 1,000 people, looked green and lush this past January. But after Pam's fierce 200 mph (320 km/h) winds downed trees, stripped the vegetation, and doused leaves with salt water, the island now looks dull and brownish-grey.

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Some 80% of the residents of Tanna (seen above), home to 30,000 people, had their homes either damaged or destroyed. Miraculously, only six people were killed.

[ NASA Earth Observatory ]

Images: NASA Earth Observatory images by Joshua Stevens, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey.

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