Tropical Cyclone Lola

Vanuatu's transport challenge hinders cyclone Lola recovery

The ship, RVS Tachouare, is currently in Australia getting repaired.

Vanuatu Helicopters also sent back its helicopters to Australia last year.

Prime Minister Charlot Salwai admitted that a lack of government transport will hamper its recovery efforts for the provinces hit hard by tropical cyclone Lola.

"Apart from the current patrol, Vanuatu needs a barge that can directly be beached on the islands," Salwai said.

Salwai visited Embrym Island and his constituency of Pentecost Island on Monday, six days after Lola made landfall.

Cyclone Lola: Pregnant woman among up to three people killed in Vanuatu

Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta said she was deeply saddened by reports of three fatalities in Vanuatu during Tropical Cyclone Lola, which was a category 5 strong cyclone at one point.

“Aotearoa New Zealand’s thoughts are with their whānau and friends,” she wrote online.

“We continue to work closely with our Pacific partners to support those affected.”

Tropical Cyclone Lola: Two people reported dead in Vanuatu

The cyclone directly hit the island on 25 October at category 4 strength.

New Zealand's High Commissioner to Vanuatu Nicci Simmonds, who visited the islands of Ambrym and Pentecost, said she saw a lot of damage, although the full picture is not yet known.

"We saw there were a lot of roads out, a lot of traditional housing flattened," Simmonds told RNZ's Morning Report.

She said one of the health clinics on Ambrym had been destroyed where two people were killed.

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Regional Digicel Pacific CEO, Shally Jannif, stated, “We know how important it is to be able to stay connected with friends and loved ones, especially at a time like this. We encourage everyone to reach out to their people in Vanuatu to let them know they’re not alone and that we are with them.”

Digicel Vanuatu would like to advise its valued customers that it is experiencing some network issues in Pentecost due to damage to infrastructure as a result of the passing of TC Lola.

All clear given in Vanuatu, Lola downgraded to Ex-Tropical Cyclone

In the final warning bulletin issued by the Vanuatu Met service, mariners were still being advised not to put out to sea until the storm system had fully left the country.

The low-pressure system is currently sitting to the northeast of the capital Port Vila and will continues to cause heavy rain and some strong winds in SHEFA province.

However, the National Disaster Management Office has issued an all clear for the country as efforts now turn to disaster assessments and getting emergency relief supplies to those worst affected by the now ex-cyclone.


Tropical Cyclone Lola: Houses destroyed, roads blocked, communications down

Temae Baeri, who lives on south Pentecost, described the damage as more serious than the destruction left by Tropical Cyclone Harold in 2020.

He said a landslide on a new tarsealed road was making it hard to travel between north, central and south Pentecost.

The cyclone has been downgraded to a tropical low in the latest weather information from the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-hazards Department.

Vanuatu's National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) was expected to deploy staff on Thursday to the provinces hard hit by the storm.

Cyclone Lola wind gusts of up to 320km/h: Red Cross fears 'major, major damages'

Very destructive hurricane force winds with gusts of up to 320km/h are forecast to affect the provinces of Torba, Sanma, Penama and Malampa within the next 24 hours.

The Vanuatu Meteorological Service says Cyclone Lola is due to make landfall over Pentecost Island at about midday Wednesday local time.

Vanuatu Red Cross spokesperson Shirley Johnson in Santo feared communication lines were down in Torba province and had not been able to reach anyone there.

Tropical Cyclone Lola: Vanuatu on high alert as storm makes landfall on northern island

As of Wednesday early morning, Fiji Meteorological Service said the storm was passing over Pentecost Island and forecast to make landfall on Malekula Island.

The Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-hazards Department has downgraded Lola to category 3.

But with the communications cut off, it was hard to know what the impact had been on those islands at this stage, Salwai told Morning Report.

On-site teams would be reporting back on conditions today, he said.

Tropical Cyclone Lola develops into category 5 super storm

A category 5 cyclone means average winds will surpass 198km/h.

Residents on Vanuatu's north-eastern islands were feeling the beginnings of the severe cyclone on Tuesday morning.

Fiji Metservice said parts of Vanuatu would be feeling gale force winds between 63-84 km/h.

Meteorologist Samisoni Waqavakatoga said strong force winds between 89 to 117 km/h would be felt about over Banks Islands about 6pm Tuesday local time.

Waqavakatoga said the eye of Lola was expected to be over Santo Island in the next 24 hours.

Severe Tropical Cyclone Lola strengthens to category 4

The cyclone is expected to hit Vanuatu's second largest city, Luganville, at midday.

Evacuation centres have been set in Lugainville as authorities tell communities to stock up on food and water and prepare to evacuate their homes in case of flooding.

Philip Meto, principal provincial Liason Officer with Vanuatu Disaster Management Office, said on Monday people were aware of the cyclone risks and evacuation centres had been set up.

He said in previous cyclones, in flood-prone areas "more than 100 people are usually evacuated."