While Cyclone Pam, a Category 5 storm that hit the south pacific nation of Vanuatu, wreaked devastation last week, the death toll remained low at 11, indicating how the locals efficiently prepared for the massive storm.
While officials believe that the figure may rise in the coming days, many aid workers have touted this as an example in surviving a cyclone.
Even while aerial photos of the archipelago nation, especially of Efate island, showed 'incredible destruction', villagers reported only one injury in the region and were back to rebuilding their lives.
"It's absolutely unbelievable the death toll is so low," New Zealander Richard Barned, who lived on Efate island for several years, told Reuters.
As reports of how the locals survived the storm emerged, the picture is that of resilience in the backdrop of destruction in one of the poorest nations with a population of 2.6 lakh.
Several locals took shelter in a kiln, which is used to dry coconuts, while several ran to schools and churches during the storm, aid officials revealed.
In some parts of the island, people buried basic food items such as fruits and coconuts and even water to ensure they can survive after the storm had passed.
"In very few places that I have worked have I seen such a resilient population," Rhodes Stampa, disaster co-ordinator for United Nations' humanitarian affairs, told Reuters.
The locals essentially heeded the warnings that came in before the storm, and took diligent steps to stay safe.
After the Storm
However, while locals determinedly survived the storm, many are now facing a longer, harder battle – that of finding food and clean water.
As several outer islands of the nation still remain inaccessible, and with phone lines and power down, locals are growing desperate for relief.
Locals who sheltered in a store in Tanna, have been subsisting on fruits picked from the ground and on creek water for the last several days, according to The Associated Press.
According to UNICEF, almost 5,000 people in the nation have no access to drinking water.
More than 3,000 people are still living in shelters.