OCHA Situation Report No. 3
Vanuatu - Tropical Cyclone Ivy
Occurred: 25-27 February 2004
OCHA has mobilised a United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) Team, who arrived in Port Vila, the capital, on Tuesday 2 March. This situation report is based on information provided by the UNDAC Team.
1. Tropical Cyclone Ivy struck Vanuatu on 25 -27 February from north to south, affecting all the six provinces of the country (Torba, Sanma, Penama, Malampa, Shefa and Tafea).
2. The disaster assessments conducted to date indicate that the central and southern provinces have experienced significant damage to crops and houses. A further aerial survey conducted with assistance from Australia and France confirmed that more than 36,000 people have been affected in the islands of Ambae, Ambrym, Epi, Erromango, Maewo, Malekula, Shepherds Group and Tanna. This number is likely to increase as the figures for Shefa Province are collected.
3. One report received by the Vanuatu National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) indicated that all the houses in one village had been destroyed, crops had been washed away, and residents were sheltering under the collapsed roof of the meeting house. Water and food were scarce. It is considered that this situation might be similar in many of the low-lying communities.
4. The Vanuatu Government has responded quickly to the cyclone and has made available an amount of VT 25,000,000 (USD 236,000) for disaster recovery. The emergency response operation (called Operation TC IVI) has been activated and will last for two to four weeks.
5. The current priority for the Government is to complete assessments of damage. The Government will decide whether it declares a national state of emergency as soon as these comprehensive assessments are collated and the NDMO can develop a plan of action for the recovery phase.
6. The Vanuatu Red Cross Society is playing a vital role in logistics and distribution of relief packages. More than 2,000 household relief packages have been distributed by the Red Cross via a French Air Force helicopter, a French Navy ship and the MV Brisk, a local supply ship.
7. The UNDAC Team has started to support the NDMO in coordination and administrative functions in cooperation with the Emergency Management Australia (EMA) Team. The UNDAC team is also supporting the NDMO in the assessments in Tafea Province, utilising a helicopter offered from AusAID, as well as in Shefa Province. These two assessments will have been completed by Monday 8 March. The team will further support the assessment in the northern provinces as well as the coordination and planning of inter-sectroal relief activities.
8. Australia, France and New Zealand continue to provide relief supplies and support to the Vanuatu Government through their respective bilateral cooperation (FRANZ agreement). This support includes:
- deployment of the EMA Team to support the NDMO in information management and coordination
- deployment of French military and fire services specialists to assist in assessment and mitigation of the damage caused by two sunken fishing boats at the main wharf
- pledge of EUR 25,000 (USD 31,100) by the French Government to support relief efforts.
9. WHO and UNICEF in cooperation with the Health Department of Vanuatu are purchasing mosquito nets and vector control agents for destruction of mosquito larvae. UNICEF has arranged for the delivery of medical kits capable of providing medicines for up to 1,000 persons for three months.
10. OCHA is in close contact with the NDMO through the UNDAC Team in Vanuatu and the office of the OCHA RDRA for the Pacific, based in Fiji, and will revert with further information as it becomes available.
11. This situation report, together with information on other ongoing emergencies, is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at http://www.reliefweb.int
Telephone: +41-22-917 12 34
Fax: +41-22-917 00 23
In case of emergency only: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10
Mr. Soichi Nakajima
Direct Tel. +41-22-917 40 34
(in GVA) - Ms. Elizabeth Byrs, direct Tel. +41-22-917 26 53
(in N.Y.) - Ms. Stephanie Bunker, Direct Tel. +1-917-367 51 26
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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