NDMO sends first shipment of food supplies to the Tanna Ash Fall victims.

LC Mahalia loaded with relief supplies for Tanna Ash Fall victims

The National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) has sent off the first shipment of food supplies mostly dry rations to the island of Tanna as part of the Government’s response to the Tanna Ash fall disaster this week.                    

An assessment on 31 March 2020 conducted by NDMO on Tanna shows that there are major impacts on the livelihoods of the people from the East to the Central parts of the island. The report shows that priority needs at the moment is food and water.

The government through the Food Security an Logistics Clusters assisted the Tanna Ash Fall victims with the shipment of 5650 cartoons of water, 5650 bags of rice and 5650 cartoons of canned food.

MV Touaraken 3 left Port Vila with half of the food supplies on Wednesday 22 April in the morning and LC Mahalia left Port Vila for Tanna in the afternoon with rest of the relief supplies.

Over 28,000 people and 5650 households were affected by the ash fall disaster on Tanna.

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”.

The response by NDMO to the Tanna Ash Fall is part of the current government response to at least four (4) disaster events throughout the country including the COVID- 19, TC Harold and the Teouma flooding disasters.