"People are coming to sleep in shelters at night and in the morning going to back to their properties to protect their belongings," she said. Military flights from New Zealand and Australia were bringing in water, sanitation kits, medicines and temporary shelters for the estimated 10,000 made homeless on the main island.
Commercial flights were also due to resume on Monday to bring in more aid and take out tourists.
Formerly known as the New Hebrides, Vanuatu is a sprawling cluster of 83 islands and 260,000 people, 2,000 km (1,250 miles) northeast of the Australian city of Brisbane.
Among the world's poorest countries, Vanuatu is rated the world's most vulnerable out of 111 countries on the Commonwealth Vulnerability Index. Perched on the geologically active Pacific Ring of Fire, it suffers from frequent earthquakes and tsunamis and has several active volcanoes in addition to threats from storms and rising sea levels.
Aid officials said the storm was comparable in strength to Typhoon Haiyan, which hit the Philippines in 2013 and killed more than 6,000 people, and looked set to be one of the worst natural disasters the Pacific region has experienced.
Australia promised A$5 million in aid and New Zealand NZ$2.5 million. Britain, which jointly ruled Vanuatu with France until independence in 1980, has offered up to two million pounds ($2.95 million) in assistance.
"We have made a substantial start but of course it's early days so we have to assess the damage," Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told ABC TV.
"This will be an ongoing operation over a number of days, weeks, months ahead."
The World Bank said it was exploring a swift insurance payout to the government, and the International Monetary Fund said it was ready to send funds and assistance to rebuild Vanuatu's economy.
Pam was losing its intensity as it passed by the east coast of New Zealand's North Island, where it was bringing strong winds, rain, and big seas but so far little damage.