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

The Vanuatu Government has been requested to extend the State of Emergency (SOE) imposed for Covid-19.

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. 

The full impact of the cyclone has yet to be realized as the affected islands in the provinces of TORBA, SANMA, PENAMA, MALAMPA and part of SHEFA are still without network coverage. 

The caretaker PM assured that development partners are ready to assist Vanuatu respond to the cyclone. 

He commended the governments of China and France for supporting response efforts of COVID-19 and cyclone Harold. 

The current SOE ends tomorrow.  

While NDMO will be lifting the suspension on internal movement and imposing strict international border restrictions, the PM said this does not mean that the coronavirus threat is gone. 

Mr Salwai urged everyone to work together with the government to address the two disasters.