Tsunami waves observed in Vanuatu’s Aneityum island

The Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department said tsunami waves estimated at 0.9 to 1.0 metre have been observed in Aneityum Island.

People took to social media to share photos of the debris left behind by the waves in Aneityum.

According to VMGD, tidal records at Lenakel and Port Vila both confirmed the arrival of the waves.

The tsunami waves were caused by a magnitude 8.1 earthquake located 1745 km East-Southeast of Aneityum this morning.

The massive earthquake occurred at 6.28am (local time).

Parts of Vanuatu on alert for possible tsunami waves

The Vanuatu Meteorology and Geohazards Department said destructive tsunami waves between 0.3 and 1.0 metres remains possible along the coastlines of the southern, central and northern parts of the country.

The National Disaster Management Office is advising people who have moved to higher ground to remain there until an ‘all-clear’ message is given.

An earthquake measuring 8.1 on the Richter Scale was located at a depth of 10km about 1745km east southeast of Aneityum at 6.28am (local time) today.

Updates will be provided as details are made available.

MSG Secretariat hosts ‘Haus Krai’ for late former PNG leader

The week-long ‘Haus Krai’ will start with the official laying of wreaths at 3pm (local time) at the MSG Secretariat Headquarters at Independence Park.

According the MSG Acting Director General, George Hoa’au, the event is to show solidarity with the people and Government of Papua New Guinea, on the passing of Somare who was also lovingly known as the Grand Chief.

The ‘Haus Krai,’ as a symbol of grief, in the PNG culture will be an area in the MSG Secretariat especially demarcated for the public to pay their respects to the late Somare.

Vanuatu to miss target of half a million strong cattle herd

The government began a programme in 2015 to build up cattle numbers, with the aim of making the country a significant exporter of beef.

It began with the shipping of cattle to Torba Province in 2015, but was stalled last year by Covid-19 .

But the second phase, with 124 breeding stock delivered to over 30 farmers on Epi Island in Shefa Province, has just got underway.

Vanuatu leaders warned to submit annual returns or face court action

Ombudsman, Hamlison Bulu, said 196 had submitted their returns but 445 public sector leaders had not.

He said if they did not submit their annual returns by 14 March their names would appear in the official gazette and then later in court.

Bulu said leaders would also be hit with a $US20,000 penalty if they didn't submit their returns on time with a further $185 added each day.

The Ombudsman appealed to all officials to respect the leadership code.

Leaders in provinces could submit their annual returns to the provincial headquarters.

Construction of new classrooms in 7 Ambae schools to begin

The Director of Education Bergsman Iati and the General Manager of Wilco Hardware in Santo, Shiu Nadan signed a contract for the company to supply building materials.

The contract is worth over Vt37 million.

Students and teachers at Vilakalaka, Vanue, Marama, Lolovoli, Bangabulu, Waisine and Ambaebulu primary schools will use the new classrooms once construction is completed.

The governments of New Zealand and Australia provided funds for the classrooms under the Ambae Recovery Project.

Vanuatu Covid-19 vaccinations to take till end of 2023

The Daily Post reports that under the Ministry of Health's national deployment and vaccination plan, the first shots will be administered in April this year, but only the most vulnerable 20 percent of the population will get a jab in the first phase.

First to be immunised will be health workers, border control, immigration and quarantine workers

After public transport drivers and other key sector workers, older people and those with re-existing conditions will receive the vaccination.

Vanuatu's High Commissioner claims seasonal workers in Queensland faced death threats

The controversy has provoked a social media storm in Vanuatu and caused consternation in Canberra, with fears the episode will damage the reputation of the Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP).

The ABC reports the federal government has energetically championed the SWP, arguing it provides Pacific Island workers with valuable employment opportunities while helping Australian farms grappling with labour shortages.

But on Tuesday (local time), High Commissioner Samson Fare took to social media to complain about the treatment of Ni-Vanuatu workers in the town of Bundaberg.

Vanuatu PM urges students, staff to respect processes to restore confidence in USP

In a statement issued yesterday (Wednesday) Prime Minister Bob Loughman Weibur said Vanuatu calls on students and staff to respect ongoing processes to restore confidence and stability in the region’s premier tertiary institution.

Loughman clarified that a statement issued last Friday was made with the best intentions and in light of issues affecting senior management of the important regional institution and their concern that there may be spillovers, which stand to delay the commencement of and disrupt the 2021 academic year.

Vanuatu women's group worried about potential travel bubble

The president of the City Centre Women in Business said their members were one of the first to come into contact with tourists, which poses a risk for contracting Covid-19.

Marie Rose Marango said the association had over 60 women and they sold their products in the centre of Port Vila, which was popular with visitors.

Marango said there had been no awareness by health authorities regarding future visitors to the country.