TC Harold

Vanuatu’s President receives video call from Australia’s Governor General

Australia’s Governor-General and Mrs Hurley expressed their sincere condolences for the devastation and loss of life caused by Tropical Cyclone Harold and thanked the people of Vanuatu for supporting those affected by bushfires and COVID-19 in Australia. ‘Vanuatu is in our prayers’, said the Governor-General and Mrs Hurley.

The heads of state spoke about the strong relationship between Vanuatu and Australia and the importance of the friendship as Vanuatu celebrates its 40th anniversary of independence.

Vanuatu NDMO continues to address needs of displaced people

The meeting was co-led by the International Organization for Migration (IOM),

The Senior Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Officer at NDMO, Alice Iarem, facilitated the meeting with the aim to assist NDMO with relevant data to inform planning for a detailed Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) currently managed by NDMO and IOM.

Participants looked at organizing partners working on the ground to better coordinate the exact figures of the displaced population in each area to support NDMO planning on addressing displacement issues still faced in the affected communities.

Thousands of cyclone victims still in evacuation centres in Vanuatu

The displaced people are in Sanma, Penama and Malampa provinces.

According to the Vanuatu Daily Post, the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) said most sites had been provided with tarpaulins for immediate shelter needs as well as food supplies.

However, the NDMO said its recovery efforts were still continuing.


Red Cross relief supplies bound for Vanuatu islands

At the weekend the NGO received 3 containers of supplies from New Zealand and Australian chapters of the Red Cross.

The Secretary-General of Vanuatu Red Cross, Jacqueline De Gaillande said it's the first significant relief to come in after last month's category 5 cyclone disaster.

She said the containers are under quarantine at the Port Vila wharf, after some delays in getting into the country because of border restrictions due to the covid-19 pandemic.

"We had to wait for the stop of the bans to travel around the islands. And this is happening on the 10th (May)."

Vanuatu church donates to disaster office

The Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu also handed over food, clothes and kitchen utensils to office.

Pastor Alain Nafuki, who is also the Chairman of the Vanuatu Christian Council, said it was only proper that his church give a helping hand because of its history.

In 1979 the church selected five of its pastors and gave them leave of duty to enter the first Walter Lini Government to plot the way to independence.

Australia supports UNICEF to reach Ni-Vanuatu and Fijian children in Tropical Cyclone Harold response

Amidst COVID-19 challenges, including border closures and travel restrictions, the Australian Defence Force has provided support to airlift more than 25 metric tonnes of emergency response materials on four flights to Vanuatu and Fiji – two of the countries hardest hit by TC Harold which struck on 6 April.

This assistance is being delivered to the Pacific Island countries according to their specific response needs from UNICEF’s warehouse based in Australia, supported by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Aviation safety sector works together to respond to TC Harold

This is part of efforts to assist the operators as they respond to Tropical Cyclone Harold.

“PASO is currently providing technical expertise to CAAV to assist with airworthiness certificates renewals for commercial chartered operators’ aircraft that have had major maintenance carried out,” said PASO Operations Manager, Netava Waqa.

Vanuatu to host solidarity concert to fundraise for TC Harold victims

The concert has been organised by the Alliance Française.

The concert will feature artists suchs as Tio, Groovy Banana, Stan Antas, Yosh Shing and Dropvkal.

Further highlights will include a food stand, kava and drinks.

Alliance Française Director Georges Cumbo said solidarity is one of the important values adopted by the Francophonie.

“Alliance Française, as a local association, intends to participate with its modest means in the national effort,” he added.

Cargo restrictions hamper Vanuatu cyclone recovery

In some villages, every building was destroyed by the winds. Today, whole families crowd beneath whatever shelter they could build from scraps.

Meanwhile, some 200 kilometres away in the capital, Port Vila, cyclone relief aid is taking days to be cleared, part of strict quarantine controls brought in to keep Covid-19 out of Vanuatu.

As Vanuatu deals with the aftermath of a cyclone which has affected at least two thirds of the country's population, frustration is growing with a response which is widely perceived as devastatingly slow.

Vanuatu cyclone recovery hampered by boat availability

The category five storm tore a path of destruction through central and northern part of the country earlier this month.

Thousands of people have been impacted, with the Red Cross reporting 90 percent of buildings in Luganville, the second biggest centre in the country, being damaged or destroyed.

The logistics coordinator at the Disaster Management Office, Jimmy Naura, said shipping supplies from Port Vila to the affected islands was difficult because many ships had been washed ashore or damaged by the cyclone.