Monday, March 6, 2023

Tropical Cyclone in Vanuatu: Over 400 Evacuated

As a result of Tropical Cyclone (TC) Judy, over 400 people on Efate have been evacuated to four different evacuation centers: Anglican Church, Nangire Church, Vanuatu Christian Council (VCC), and Wan Smolbag (WSB).

SHEFA Provincial Disaster Officer at the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO), Eddy Maliliu, said, there were only four evacuation centers that they have identified for people to move to if their homes are not safe.

“With the help of the Police Operation Center, over 400 people were moved to the evacuation centers during TC Judy,” he said.

“The Anglican Church accommodates a total of 31 people, Nangire Church holds 11 people, VCC has 34, and WSB a total of 380 people.”

Mr. Maliliu said many of the people who have been evacuated are those whose homes have been flooded and damaged.

“Therefore, people who have lost their houses and belongings were advised to stay in the evacuation centers until it is safe for them to return,” he said.

“We understand that there is another cyclone that is coming, however, people who have gone back to their houses can still come back to the evacuation centers.”

The duty forecaster at the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-hazards Department (VMGD), Gino Leo, has confirmed that, Vanuatu is expecting another cyclone today.

“As of 12pm yesterday, the cyclone was located in the west of Torres, with a force that has reached category 1,” he said.

“Named Kevin, this TC is moving in a east and south east direction.”

Mr. Leo added that it is most likely that Vanuatu will experience strong gale force winds as it has been monitored that TC Kevin will travel across central Vanuatu.

Meanwhile, Mr. Maliliu reiterated that people need to be responsive to the warnings that NDMO has been issuing, as the cyclone is on its way.

“Yesterday, people were moving into the evacuation centers during the red alert, which is not good and unsafe,” he said.

“With the cyclone that is fast approaching, people who think that their home is not safe should move quickly to a safe house or an evacuation center before the red alert.”

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