OCHA Flash Update Vanuatu | Paama Flooding & Landslides 1 November 2013

from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 01 Nov 2013

In the early hours of 24 October, heavy rainfall caused flooding and landslides on the island of Paama in Malampa Province. The Government has declared an emergency and activated the National Disaster Committee, including the police, Government ministries, Vanuatu Humanitarian Team (VHT) and FRANZ partners.

The NDMO released a rapid assessment report on 24 October detailing damage to houses, a primary school, local roads and the airstrip. The steep geography of Paama has resulted in impacts to most villages on the island, with an estimated 400 households affected. Key needs are water and food security due to the loss of over 160 household food gardens and the contamination of ground water.

The response is being managed at the local and provincial levels with NDMO support. The VHT is supporting the NDMO and has mobilized in-country resources, such as water tanks and kits for school, WASH, and hygiene. OCHA is providing information management/mapping support.

An Emergency Operations Centre has been set-up in the main town of Liro, led by the NDMO with the support of the military. The main focus of the military is cleaning up the damaged school to ensure exams can continue as planned.

A shipment of supplies will be distributed to priority households in the coming days, and an assessment team of experts in water, agriculture, education, child protection and health will arrive at the location today.

Community meetings to assess damage and needs have been held in impacted villages, and key recovery messages are being broadcast through local radio and via SMS to mobile phones. Messaging is focused on how to assist eachother and support the local economy by selling and exporting food produce.

OCHA will not issue a Situation Report unless further assessments reveal more serious needs. The next Flash Update will be issued as soon as more information is available.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:
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