Residents of Vanuatu's Tanna Island are still largely cut off from the world five days after the eye wall of the category five storm shredded through.

A twisted wasteland of browns and grey, blacked-out and broken by Cyclone Pam, the entire landscape has been shorn of trees. Those still standing look like their branches have been sawn off.

Eight people have been confirmed dead on Tanna, which has a population of over 35,000, but counting continues.

The official count doesn't include those killed indirectly by the cyclone.

The most recent was 20-year-old local man Eddy Willy, who died of an unknown illness because both Lenakel and Port Villa hospitals were damaged by the storm and unable to treat him.

People grieve as they transport the body of 20 year-old Eddy Willy in the back of a vehicle to his burial on the island of Tanna, Vanuatu, Tuesday, March 17, 2015. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

Family and neighbours from his home village of Ituga wailed, screamed and clawed at his coffin when a ute brought in his body from the airport.

Just down the road, local police officer John Maeke says two women - one aged in her 50s, the other older than 70 - died when they were crushed by the brick wall of their house.

Officer Meake says another man was crushed to death by a falling tree limb when he tried to rescue his mother, who also died when she was struck by a piece of corrugated iron roofing.

"There was nothing anyone could do, no one has seen a storm like this," he told AAP.

"This is the worst storm of our generation, no one remembers anything worse."

Lishie Rossie, who works for Australian charity Live and Learn, said Pam probably hadn't finished killing people.

All medical facilities on Tanna are closed and the local government has advised all patients, no matter what their emergency, to stay home.

"There is no way to treat anyone, Tanna no longer has a hospital," Mr Lishie told AAP.

People are seen walking on a road on the island of Tanna, Vanuatu, Tuesday, March 17, 2015. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

Only bore water is drinkable, flowing water sources are far too contaminated.

Even though locals stockpiled some food, he said they will soon start running out.

"We need to get them food, time is running out," Mr Lishie said.

Police officer Eddy Are said police were handing out emergency rations right up until the moment Pam crossed Tanna's coast.

Entire villages were evacuated into schools and other strong buildings, but many were ripped apart by the storm.

Officer Are says as the cyclone roared right over them, police raced back to their barracks to take cover.

"We just sat there for hours, listening to this bad, dark sound," he told AAP.

"All of us are homeless now," he sighed.

Mr Lishie said many villages on the southern side of Tanna, and on outer islands like Erromango and Futuna, are yet to even make contact.

The provincial government has sent teams on foot to assess the damage in southern Tanna, but they were yet to return to the provincial capital on Tuesday, two days after they set off.

Many Tanna locals told AAP they feel forgotten by the world because they focus seems to be on Port Villa and towns on the main island of Efate.

Until more help arrives the days will remain hungry and nights pitch black on Tanna.

SBS correspondent Stefan Armbruster is in Port Vila.