Tropical Cyclone Lusi - Mar 2014
On 11 Mar 2014, Tropical Cyclone Lusi was located about 30 km west-northwest of Vanuatu's Ambrym island (population 7,275) and 70 km southeast of Malekula island (22,902), and moving 12 km/h in a south-southeast direction. The cyclone strengthened to a Category 2 system in the afternoon with sustained winds of 95 km/h and momentary gusts of 140 km/h. Cyclone warnings were in place for Penama (30,819), Malampa (36,727) and Shefa (78,723) Provinces. (OCHA, 11 Mar 2014)
By 12 Mar, the cyclone had intensified to a Category 3 system and was moving away from Vanuatu. Three deaths had been confirmed and there were numerous reports of damage to houses and people sheltering in evacuation centers. Many coastal and low-lying communities were flooded, and there were concerns groundwater sources had been contaminated due to damaged water infrastructure. All provinces were reporting extensive damage to crops and fruit trees, including coconut, breadfruit, papaya, banana, manioc and yam. (OCHA, 12 Mar 2014)
By 17 Mar, there were 10 confirmed fatalities and an estimated 20,000 people had been affected to varying degrees across Torba, Sanma, Penama, Malampa and Shefa Province (OCHA, 17 Mar).
On 23 May, the Government launched the Humanitarian Action Plan.
The Pacific Region had nine major emergencies between November 2013 and June 2014.The 2014 - 2015 cyclone season has been one of the most active in terms of the number and intensity of cyclones, as well as the length of season. A total of 9 cyclones were observed with five of these having significant humanitarian consequences.
1 Executive Summary
A National Debriefing Workshop for TC Lusi facilitated by National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) with help from VHT partners was held on Monday, 21 July 2014. The Workshop focused on four main objectives related to the development of improved procedures for Logistics, Coordination, Communication and Information Management and Assessments.
Normal to below normal rainfall is evident in many Pacific Island countries, with the Pacific Ocean showing renewed signs of El Niño development. There is a 50 per cent chance of an El Niño forming by the end of 2014. Water conservation measures are recommended.
Drought conditions are being monitored on Emau Island, located in North Efate in Shefa Province. The island, with a population of 1,000 has not had rainfall since June 2014.
The Pacific Region had five major emergencies in the 2013-2014 cyclone season. There were two severe cyclone events, one in Palau and the other in Tonga. A third cyclone is Vanuatu, caused a high loss of life across affected communities despite its reduced intensity. There was flash flooding in the Solomon Islands from a tropical depression and king tides in the Marshall Islands. This snapshot provides brief overview key statistics of the season
• El Niño alert issued, with meteorologists estimating a 70 per cent chance of event developing by late 2014.
• OCHA and the Pacific Humanitarian Team responded to five emergencies between November 2013 and May 2014.
• Recovery efforts in cyclone-affected Tonga include a cash-for-work programme focusing on food security and debris management.
• A study of the Pacific Humanitarian Team response in the Solomon Islands finds coordination support appreciated, but improved communication and assessments needed.
Balkans: On 13 May, cyclone Tamara hit the Balkans. Heavy rainfall resulted in extensive flooding in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Croatia; 1.6 million, 1.5 million, and 38,000 people have been affected, respectively. In total, 81,879 people have been evacuated. Relief efforts are being hampered by landslides, damaged infrastructure, blocked roads, and blackouts.
- EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The Humanitarian Action Plan (HAP) is a tool for structuring a coordinated humanitarian response for the first three months of a new emergency. It contains an analysis of the context and of humanitarian and early recovery needs (citing whatever specific needs assessments are available, as well as any other evidence such as informal reports, remote sensing, background data, and inference), response plans (at the general strategic level as well as sector plans), and information on roles and responsibilities.)
South Sudan: A cholera outbreak was reported in Juba, with 43 suspected cases and two deaths recorded. Displacement figures have climbed to 1,005,000 IDPs and 310,000 refugees in neighbouring countries. Juba and the South Sudan Democratic Movement/Army – Cobra Faction signed a peace agreement over conflict in the Greater Pibor area.
Iraq: 6,000 people fled the Iraqi military’s shelling of Fallujah over 6–16 May. The Iraqi Government has denied using barrel bombs, but residents keep describing what appear to be such devices.
South Sudan: Peace negotiations in Addis Ababa have resulted in a ceasefire agreement between South Sudan’s president and the head of the opposition. The number of IDPs in South Sudan stands at 983,000. Following fighting in Upper Nile state, at least 11,000 new South Sudanese refugees have crossed into Ethiopia, bringing the total to 120,000. Altogether, 341,000 South Sudanese refugees are in neighbouring countries.
The government of Vanuatu will have to shift around funds to meet urgent food requests from Cyclone Lusi Victims, because there is no existing budget for disaster relief.
Read the full article on Radio New Zealand International
Syria: The security situation had deteriorated with escalating violence in the West of the country resulting in population displacement and hampering the delivery of humanitarian assistance. Large numbers of newly displaced are heading to the calmer regions of Idleb governorate, which hosts over 500,000 IDPs. In the East, Iraqi helicopters hit an opposition convoy in the first strike claimed by Iraq inside Syria since the conflict began.
It has been two weeks since Cyclone Lusi hit the six provinces of Vanuatu. The Category 2 storm claimed eight lives, caused widespread flooding and damaged crops and homes.
While the impact of the disaster was devastating, the Vanuatu Government and the international community are continuing to support affected families in their time of need.
From 9-12 March, Cyclone Lusi struck Vanuatu affecting approximately 20,000 people and causing 8 fatalities. Many families had to be evacuated before and during the cyclone, and 60 people are still displaced and living with host families, while the rest have been able to return home.
In the cyclone’s immediate aftermath, reports came in from across Vanuatu indicating widespread Cyclone Category 1 damage across Northern and Central provinces of Shefa, Sanma, Penama, Malampa and Torba.
Tropical Cyclone (TC) Lusi passed through Vanuatu during the period between 9 and 12 March, resulting in some 20,000 people affected, 8 fatalities and damages to plantations and houses. The National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) reported a total of six evacuation centres being activated during and after the cyclone, however these centres have been closed as of 17 March.
The head of an NGO in Vanuatu says disaster training helped people to keep in touch via a text messaging network despite a temporary radio outage during Cyclone Lusi.
Read the full article on Radio New Zealand International