At 02:00pm today Severe Tropical Cyclone Donna (Cat 4) was located about 340 KM west of Torres and 385 KM west northwest of Santo. Damaging gale force winds of 75KM/HR gusting to 105 KM/HR will continue to affect TORBA. Damaging gale force winds of 75KM/HR gusting to 105 KM/HR will affect SANMA.
Torba Province remains the most affected area. The following information is from HF radio contact with the Torres Area Secretary at 2pm today covering the Torres group of islands. Provincial authorities have conducted a quick rapid assessment with Community Disaster Committees on the four islands: Loh; Hui; Tegua; and Toga. Only one of two communities on Toga island has been reached so far. The initial findings are the following:
• Significant number of houses totally destroyed and the majority of houses damaged.
• On Loh, almost all people on the island are sheltered in an evacuation center, this includes schools, a cave and police station. People are awaiting the all clear from the NDMO before returning.
• Robin School in Loh is reported to have damage to two buildings, a dormitory, a dining hall and two tanks.
• In other islands people were evacuated in to strong houses.
• Quantity of water is enough for everyone, but likely contaminated
• Gravity fed system on Hui Island is destroyed, people are relying on water from tank and an underground well, but are also contaminated.
• All gardens are severely damaged in all communities contacted
• Food supply could be enough for 2 - 3 weeks, included Yam, Taro and Manioc.
• All toilet facilities are destroyed.
• 5 banana boats available in Torres, but there is no fuel available
• Health facility in Loh is functional.
• Air strip in Lo his covered with debris, however, as of 5.15pm the area council has already coordinated the clearing of the air strip.
• TVL Tower in Loh is damaged and unlikely to be repaired soon. It is the only telecommunication network in Torres.
• No injury or health issues reported.
• No protection issue reported.
• Litau on Toga island is reporting 3 houses completely destroyed, minor damage to several other houses. Crops are destroyed with enough food for 2-3 weeks remaining.
In the Banks group of islands, overall less damage is being reported. Strong winds and localised flooding was reported. Gardens are reported destroyed in Mere Lava. Damage gardens are reported on Vanualava. No contact has been made with Ureparapara island.
A widely attended inter-agency meeting was held at 9am this morning. Cluster meetings are taking place. The NDMO will be working closely with the Red Cross and other agencies to develop a response plan for the affected areas in Torba Province. Agencies are encouraged to continue to liaise closely with the NDMO to coordinate any response activities.
Partner agencies including Government Departments, NGOs, faith based groups and the Red Cross network continue to support the National Disaster Management Office in information gathering and contingency planning.