Vanuatu village's water contaminated by landslide triggered by Gabrielle

Villagers in the north-west of Vanuatu's Santo island urgently need clean drinking water after the area was hit by Cyclone Gabrielle.

Malpoi has been severely impacted by landslides and mud.

RNZ Pacific reports the Santo Sunset Environment Women's Network (SSEWN) said the village's main water-source is contaminated and houses and gardens have been destroyed.

Chairman of the network Allan Taman said the villagers need water and building materials.

"The main thing they need is water because their water source is destroyed. They said because they have relocated out of the village to the new sites they need materials to build houses."

Taman also said the villagers need long-term financial support as their plantations were destroyed in the landslide.

"In that village they use cocoa and they plant Kava to earn money but the landslide has taken away all of that," he said.

"So, now they have no incomes, they can plant now but it needs more years to come for them to harvest their product to earn money again but for now for a while they need something to help them."

Meanwhile, Three metre swells are expected for New Caledonia's west coast until Tuesday as the tail-end of Cyclone Gabrielle threatens the area.

Strong swell warnings are in place for 16 districts, and residents on the coast and Pine Island have been advised to stay vigilant.

After Cyclone Gabrielle passed near New Caledonia, 14 boats were damaged and one boat has sunk due to wind and swells.

Vice-director of the Port Brunelet, Brice Kiener, told La Premiere they will start an evacuation plan for the damaged ships.

"As a result of Cyclone Gabrielle there have been strong west coast winds which has resulted with the most important swell tides of the year. Specifically in the areas of Orphan Bay, an evacuation plan is underway for those ships with the help of the Noumea City Council."

Norfolk Island appears to have avoided the worst of Cyclone Gabrielle which was initially forecast to pass over it.

Winds have cut power, brought down trees and blocked roads on the island but it appears to have been spared the worst.


Photo: The Santo Sunset Environment Women's Network