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05 Dec 2017 description

In the face of climate change, the world continues to witness frequent and large-scale disasters. In the rst half of 2017 alone, 149 natural disasters occurred in 73 countries resulting in 3,162 deaths, affecting 80 million people and resulting in the estimated loss of US$32.4 billion.

01 Dec 2017 description

There have not been any syndromes flagged for the reporting week 47.

Other updates

Dengue

A dengue outbreak is ongoing in Wallis and Futuna. Clean up of communities to eradicate mosquito breeding sites is ongoing. As of 6 November there have been 7 confirmed cases, of which two have had dengue serotype-1 identified. Source: Health Agency Wallis and Futuna There is an ongoing dengue-serotype 2 outbreak in Samoa

Mumps

30 Nov 2017 description
report Inter Press Service

By Thalif Deen

UNITED NATIONS, Nov 29 2017 (IPS) - The 1951 UN convention on political refugees– which never foresaw the phenomenon of climate change– permits refugee status only if one “has a well-founded fear of persecution because of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion.”

But a proposal for an amendment to that Convention—or an optional protocol — to include a new category of “environmental refugees” has failed to get off the ground.

27 Nov 2017 description

The Pacific Catastrophe Risk Insurance Company, which was established a year ago, is providing $US45 million dollars in insurance cover for five Pacific Island countries for the coming cyclone season.

Read more on Radio New Zealand International

27 Nov 2017 description

The following syndromes have been flagged:

  • Acute Fever and Rash: Fiji, French Polynesia

Other updates

Dengue

  • A dengue serotype-2 outbreak is ongoing in Samoa. Clean up of communities to eradicate mosquito breeding sites is ongoing. Source: Samoa Ministry of Health.
21 Nov 2017 description
report World Bank

SUBMITTED BY MICHAEL BONTE-GRAPENTIN ON MON, 11/20/2017 CO-AUTHORS: PATRICK MEIER, KEIKO SAITO

For many Pacific Island countries, natural disasters such as cyclones and tsunamis, are an all-too common occurrence. Out of the top 15 most at-risk countries for natural disasters globally, four are Pacific Island countries, and Vanuatu is consistently at the top.

20 Nov 2017 description

Summary of population affected and reached with emergency shelter assistance

The entire population of Ambae Island (10,869 people / 2,912 households) was evacuated mainly to the three adjacent islands: Espiritu Santo in Sanma Province; and Pentecost and Maewo in Penama Province. Some people went to the capital city Port Vila independently.

20 Nov 2017 description

Updated yesterday at 8:22pm

A shallow, magnitude-7.0 earthquake has struck east of New Caledonia's Loyalty Islands in the South Pacific, sending small tsunamis towards New Caledonia and neighbouring Vanuatu, where authorities ordered evacuations.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre (PTWC) issued a tsunami warning for coastlines within 300 kilometres of the epicentre, but later said the danger had largely passed.

The quake — initially reported as magnitude-7.3 — struck at a shallow depth of 10 kilometres some 80 kilometres east of New Caledonia.

16 Nov 2017 description

An account of the Ambae situation reported on the 15 Nov by Disaster officer, Manson Taridenga addressed existing issues and needs currently facing the people of Ambae.

As part of the recovery program for the Ambae repatriates, the Water and Sanitation Cluster are cleaning and testing water quality in wells, tanks and carrying out water and sanitation awareness at the same time.

“Though a few wells have been declared safe, there is still fear of it still being contaminated as acid rain continuously falls especially in the West and Southern part of Ambae.”

16 Nov 2017 description
report UN Children's Fund

BONN, GERMANY, 15 November 2017 – Timoci Naulusala, 12, and Shalvi Shakshi, 10, together with their proud parents arrived in Bonn, Germany, this week to tell their stories of climate change impacts in Fiji, and how they coped with the devastation of Cyclone Winston. They are calling on world leaders to commit to climate action to protect their homes, and those of all Pacific Island children.

15 Nov 2017 description
report Inter Press Service

By Mala Silas

Mala Silas is a gender equality program officer with CARE International in Vanuatu.

PORT VILA, Vanuatu, Nov 15 2017 (IPS) - Here in Vanuatu, the ocean has been getting warmer and more acidic. Scientists are predicting that cyclone patterns will change, we’ll see heavier rainfalls, a wetter wet season and a drier dry season. We’re already seeing the sea rising six millimeters per year in the capital, Port Vila; higher than the global average.

15 Nov 2017 description

UNFCCC COP23, Bonn, Germany – Reducing the risks from climate change and disasters would be futile if it does not reduce the risks to those who are most disproportionately impacted. 

Therefore, climate change and disaster risk reduction (CCDRR) must ensure that the protection of life, security, and dignity of all people are at the center of its activities.  

14 Nov 2017 description
report IRIN

After learning hard lessons, Pacific Island states are exerting greater control when disasters strike. But is the aid sector prepared to change?

14 Nov 2017 description

For island communities in Vanuatu, access to information is important in decision making in their daily lives.

A key link is the climate and weather information provided by the Meteorology office and for the island of Ambae it now has an Automatic Weather Station providing timely and accurate data – a transition from the manual observations by weather officers which has been costly to the government and inefficient in terms of inconsistency on weather data recordings.

12 Nov 2017 description

Between four and seven cyclones are expected during the 2017 - 2018 cyclone season. This represents lower than average activity. There is normal risk of severe cyclones for Vanuatu, New Caledonia,
Fiji and Samoa, while the risk is reduced for Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Samoa,
Tonga, Niue and Cook Islands.

La Niña

10 Nov 2017 description

Situation Overview

Ambae volcano remains at Alert Level 3.

The State of Emergency on Ambae finished last week.

All general repatriations to Ambae are completed. Some people remain on host islands, including some students, some people with special needs and others who voluntarily chose to remain.

The operational hub for the response has moved from Luganville to East Ambae.

The Penema Provincial Government has re-established services on Ambae and continues to hold regular coordination meetings.

10 Nov 2017 description

By Laurie Goering

LONDON, Nov 9 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Pacific islanders may be among the first people in the world forced to migrate as a clear result of climate change - but a range of thorny legal obstacles stands in the way of that happening successfully, researchers warned on Thursday.

Addressing those now, and putting in place a regional plan to deal with migration before it picks up speed, will be key to avoiding a future emergency, they said.