NDMO is currently coordinating response to four disaster events.
The National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) is currently coordinating response to at least four (4) disaster events throughout the country. They are Tropical Cyclone Harold, COVID-19, Tanna Ash Fall and the Teouma Flooding.
For TC Harold, NDMO is coordinating the rapid Technical assessment in the three most severely affected provinces including, Penama, Malampa and Sanma. All assessment reports to be received on the 14/04/2020 when all assessments teams returned to Port Vila.
From the Situation Report No. 7 produced by the NEOC dated 14/04/20, the following highlights are given based on the preliminary impact reports taken from the aerial assessments and on the ground observations. At least 40 percent of Digicel coverage network restored in the Banks islands and Santo, while 40 percent of Vodafone coverage was restored for Santo. At least 13 cargo vessels appeared to be damaged, wrecked or beached. Relief items to be transported for TC Harold will still undergo proper screening and quarantine measures.
NDMO has also confirmed that two flights have been received to date for the Chinese government assistance in medical and containment units for COVID-19 and the Australian Defence Force transporting relief items for TC Harold and repatriation of Australian personnel on Monday this week.
For COVID-19 response, the NDMO takes lead on the overall coordination of the COVID-19 operation while the Health Cluster leads the medical aspects of the operation. As of Monday 23 March 2020, The NEOC has been activated to assist the Ministry of Health to continue to enhance the surveillance response measures for COVID-19 in Vanuatu.
The State of Emergency (SOE) has been extended for another 30 days effective as of Saturday 11 April. However the COVID-19 Advisory committee will still be active as per the National Disaster Committee decision. International Border control for COVID-19 measures is still maintained.
The Tanna Yasur Volcano is currently at Alert Level 2 according to the Vanuatu Meteorological and Geo-Hazards Department (VMGD). Therefore the surrounding area has experienced ash fall as an ongoing disaster activity over the past fifteen years, especially in the South West part of the island.
The VMGD Volcanic Bulletin No. 2 dated Friday 13 March 2020, shows that Yasur is emitting plumes of volcanic ash emissions from eruptive vents and the presence of volcanic gases around the summit crater. Acid rain is also an issue. Based on these results, Yasur volcanic activity has now been upgraded to Alert Level 2, with Vanuatu Volcanic Alert Level (VVAL) of “Major Unrest”. An assessment on 31 March 2020 shows major impacts on livelihood from the east to the central part of the island. The report shows that priority needs at the moment is food and water. Shipment of dry rations to respond to this disaster is currently going on.
NDMO has also responded to the Teouma Flooding caused by the heavy rainfall throughout the last weekend that have caused flooding and impacted the livelihood of people around Teouma Valley. The area has been assessed and a report will be produced for further response if necessary once the response action plan is finalised this week.
In overall, NDMO is coordinating the general coordination of all events through the NEOC with assistance from all respective sectors, clusters and Provincial disaster committees.