TC Harold

Vanuatu Acting DPM raises concern over TC Harold response

“Without the support of the private sector and surveillance by Australian and NZ military aircraft, I’m not sure our most affected communities would have received any help at all,” Mr Napat said.

“If the director general and the director of NDMO cannot coordinate an immediate response they should both consider resigning.”

“Concerns have been raised at the slow response time from the National Disaster Management Office to communities affected by Cyclone Harold.

Families in Vanuatu’s Luganville evacuation centres receive food

The ministry has begun distributing 1.2 tonnes of cassava and 211 trays of eggs to families that were affected by Tropical Cyclone Harold last week.

The cassava was sourced from the Agriculture farm and the eggs from Port Vila.

The National Disaster Management Office is expected to distribute imported food such as rice and canned meat Tuesday (today).

The MALFFB team will only distribute locally sourced food items. The same goes for other islands affected by TC Harold.

Crisis stricken Vanuatu hit by climate-fuelled Tropical Cyclone Harold

Last week the cyclone made landfall on the island of Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu’s largest island, bringing torrential rain and 240km/h winds.

Climate Change & Resilience Policy, Adaptation, Loss & Damage, Sustainable Finance & UN Negotiator Dr Christopher Bartlett from Vanuatu, described the cyclone as an outcome “of the unconscionable crime of climate change perpetrated against the people of Vanuatu by fossil fuel corporations and the countries that subsidise them.”                              

Relief efforts begin in cyclone-hit Vanuatu

Cyclone Harold tore through the country's north on Tuesday, killing at least two people and causing widespread damage. The islands of Santo and Pentecost were particularly hard-hit.

Disaster assessments from Vanuatu suggest as many as 160,000 people were affected when Cyclone Harold cut across several provinces, destroying infrastructure and crops and leaving thousands without shelter.

Yesterday, the MP for Luganville, Vanuatu's second largest town, said as many as 70 percent of the houses in the town of 16,000 people had been damaged.

Australian aid to help Cyclone Harold relief efforts as COVID-19 frustrates response

The week-long storm has destroyed homes, cut off power and killed dozens in four Pacific island countries. Local disaster teams in Vanuatu hope to reach some of the worst-affected areas today.

Glen Craig from the Vanuatu Business Resilience Council estimates up to 90 per cent of homes in the country's second largest town, Luganville, have been damaged.

"It's worse than what we thought," he said.

"People here are positive. I think they're still a bit shell-shocked at the moment but they know that help is coming but help will need to come fast.

Save The Children staff mobilise to help children affected by Tropical Cyclone Harold

Save the Children staff in Vanuatu and Solomon Islands are ready to help hundreds of children affected by Tropical Cyclone (TC) Harold, the most powerful storm in the Pacific in at least two years, with winds gusting as high as 235km/h. 

Save the Children NZ Chief Executive Heidi Coetzee said, “Cyclone Harold comes at the worst possible time for these Pacific islands, as they prepare to manage their response to COVID-19.” 

Oxfam coordinates response to TC Harold in Vanuatu and Solomons

Oxfam teams in the Pacific are already working with partner agencies and governments in Vanuatu and Solomon Islands in response to Tropical Cyclone Harold.

Close to 70 percent of Vanuatu's Luganville destroyed by Cyclone Harold

Matai Seremaiah returned to the country's second-largest town yesterday, and said it had been transformed by the direct hit from the category five Cyclone Harold this week.

He said two people died on Malo island, and he estimated more than a thousand people were in evacuation centres.

Mr Seremaiah said power had been restored to the hospital, but there was a dire need for water and shelter.

"When I got down yesterday I was just lost, just don't know where to start," he said.

Fiji’s Vatulele island sustains massive damage from TC Harold

However, there have been no fatalities recorded.  

Village headman, Jiuta Vodo said the destruction caused by TC Harold is worse than their experience with TC Winston in 2016.  

Vodo also said it was the first time for most elders to experience such a cyclone. 

“Nothing else is left in our plantation, all the root crops have been uprooted by the strong winds. We really need help. I am pleading with the government to help us now because we have nothing else left.” 

Casualties reported in Vanuatu following TC Harold

Communications to the islands were knocked out when the powerful storm hit on Monday and the scale of damage is only now becoming clear.

Cyclone Harold went on to cause significant damage in Fiji and has entered Tonga's waters today.

New Zealander Glen Craig, managing partner of the Pacific Business Resilience Council, chartered a Cessna, then a boat and was among the first people to make contact with some of the worst hit-islands.

He told RNZ destruction was widespread.