TC Harold

Digicel Vanuatu’s Network restoration well underway

In the last 72 hours, Digicel has successfully reconnected a number of islands and communities including Paama, Epi, Tongoa, Ambrym, Maewo, Banks Islands, Luganville Santo and majority of the sites in Malekula who are among the most recent to once again receive voice and data services. Currently the Technical team are working day and night to fully restore the services up North.

People of Vanuatu’s SANMA province need assistance

This was confirmed by Mayor of the Luganville Municipal Council, Peter Patty.  

“We are badly affected. We urgently need water, food and shelter at the moment.” 

“Many have lost their homes. Schools are destroyed. Electricity is down.” 

According to Mayor Patty, the worst affected areas in SANMA are West Coast, South Santo, Malo, Aore including Luganville. 

Currently, communication networks in the affected islands are still down thus, assessing the impacts of the cyclone is difficult. 

Vanuatu’s State of Emergency to be extended to respond to TC Harold

The National Disaster Committee made the request in order to respond to the immediate needs of families impacted by Tropical Cyclone Harold. 

This was confirmed by caretaker Prime Minister (PM) Charlot Salwai Tuesday afternoon. 

The Council of Ministers (COM) will meet before the end of the week to consider the request for the SOE extension that will address both COVID-19 and Harold, he said. 

Fiji slammed by severe TC Harold as damage reported

At 9am today local time, Harold - a category four storm - was located just west of the main island Viti Levu.

Misa Funaki, of the Fiji Meteorological Service, said Harold is now trekking southeast and is expected to cause more damage.

Mr Funaki said a hurricane force wind warning remains for Kadavu and southern Lau while a strong wind warning is in force for the rest of the country.

"There have been reports from Yasawa of huge tidal waves there," he said.

"There have been structural damage and mass flooding in some areas.

Severe TC Harold now being felt in parts of Fiji

The category 4 cyclone, with wind speeds of 170km/h and gusts of 240 km/h, is now in Fiji waters.

Mr Funaki told Fiji Village that the big the concern are the damaging winds and heavy rain.

He said there is also the concern of flash flooding of low-lying areas.

The hurricane forces winds can cause extensive roofing damage on small houses, extensive damages to doors and windows, low-lying escape routes cut off, extensive structural damage to houses, utility buildings, shrubs stripped.

Vanuatu domestic air services to resume

Services had been suspended as precautionary measures due to Tropical Cyclone Harold which caused extensive destruction in parts of the country.

Following the notice of resumption of services Tuesday, Air Vanuatu announced that domestic passenger services will resume as of Friday 10 April 2020.

Air Vanuatu said it received the official notice of resumption of domestic services from the Civil Aviation Authority of Vanuatu (CAAV) and the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) at lunchtime Tuesday.

Fiji braces for Cyclone Harold

The National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) said it had activated the national emergency operations centre.

A cyclone alert remains in force for Yasawa, the Mamanuca Group, Viti Levu, Kadavu, Lomaiviti and Southern Lau.

On its projected track, Harold, currently a category five storm, was expected to lose strength but pass just south of Kadavu before moving towards southern Lau on Wednesday.

The NDMO urged families and communities to put into practice their disaster preparedness plans.

Former Vanuatu MP calls for solidarity as TC Harold rages

Most of the telecommunications in the affected areas have been downed by the "monster" cyclone which was packing sustained winds of over 200kms an hour with gusts reaching 235kms an hour.

A former MP Malekula, Sato Kilman, said he managed to speak briefly with his son and warned him to take shelter before communications went down.

Mr Kilman had this message for people in affected areas who might still be cut off from the outside world this morning.

Monster TC Harold continues to wreak havoc in Vanuatu

The Category 5 storm made landfall on the Vanuatu island of Santo yesterday with destructive winds as high as 235km/h.

The cyclone passed directly over Santo and hundreds of people are sheltering in evacuation centres.

In Luganville, a town of 16,000 people, roofs have been blown off houses, trees snapped, and the council building has been destroyed.

Overnight, Tropical Cyclone Harold showed no sign of weakening as it moved across Vanuatu.

Cyclone Harold updates: Storm makes landfall on Vanuatu's Santo

Cyclone Harold - a category five, the highest possible - has sat just to the west of Vanuatu's central islands for much of the past day, gathering significant strength in the past 12 hours.

On Monday afternoon, just after 1pm, local time, it made lanfall on Santo's southwestern coast, and is forecast to continue on a track that takes it very close to Luganville, the country's second-largest town with a population of more than 16,000 people.