Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-hazards Department Opens new Call Center for national meteorological and geo-hazards Warning services.
The Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-hazards Department (VMGD) is launching the new Call Center aimed at boosting public access to its warning services in Vanuatu. The Call Center is established in the National Warning Center within VMGD with the support of the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) and is currently being for official warning services. The Call Center number is 116.
The Director of VMGD Esline Garaebiti Bule explained, “The new call center is targeting communities to access timely information and warnings and it’s a free number where communities can call at any time during the day and night and it will direct each call to different services provided by the Department. This system will help communities to freely obtain information advisory and warning of tropical cyclones, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and tsunami as well as normal weather reports”
This new Call Center came as part of the Department’s tremendous improvements in terms of infrastructure, networks and capacity development in Weather, Climate and Geo-Hazards warning systems. This would not have been possible without the efforts and determination of the past and current Ministers, Political advisers, DGs, Directors and staff of the Ministry of Climate Change and VMGD. The Ministry through VMGD has established a very good working relationships with its national, regional and international partners and bilateral agencies to continue to develop and improve its human recourses and infrastructure for warning services. The Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) is one of the key national partner to ensure appropriate communications systems are in place for Early Warning
VMGD is the authority and the only Government agency mandated by law to provide official Weather, Climate and Geo-Hazards information. VMGD is a member of the World Meteorological Organizations (WMO) and operates under the guidelines and standards of the WMO, it has standard operational procedures in place to guide its internal operations. Public Weather information is provided in a daily basis. However national weather Warnings including Tropical Cyclone information, advisory and warning, Coastal Marine Warning, High Seas Warning and Severe Weather Warning are issued when the level of threat reach the set threshold. Coastal Marine and High Seas warnings are also issued in the cases where a tropical depression or Cyclone is formed and is approaching the Vanuatu Area of Responsibility. According to WMO standards, the name of the tropical cyclone is only released when the system is well developed and named by the Regional Meteorological Center responsible for the South West pacific thus Vanuatu.
Climate information services and Geo-Hazards services are provided according to relevant guidelines. They are generally provided in a monthly basis unless and emerging climate and geo-hazards threat is imminent.
Though some climate and weather prediction models and tools are widely available online with resolutions that are general and global, only the National Meteorological Services as VMGD utilize the tools recommended by WMO that ensures real-time meteorological data collected are integrated in the weather and climate analysis before any issuance of warning services. Users of online information and the general public should be aware that making decisions based on these online information from individual sources will be at their own risks. The government of Vanuatu, through VMGD will not be liable to any individual or company using weather, climate and geo-hazards information issued by individuals outside of VMGD unless, the official information is recirculated or redistributed
VMGD disseminates its weather, climate and geo-hazards information, advisories and warnings via Email to specific users, Website (https://www.vmgd.gov.vu) accessible by general public, all radio outlets, Facebook (Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department), SMS and now the free call number 116. This free call center for warning services will be accessible to all users of Digicel and Telecom network telephones.
The followers of VRAO and the general public should be aware that that the Vanuatu Rainfall & Agro-Met Outlook (VROA) is NOT an official Facebook page of Weather, Climate and Geo-hazards information, unless it redistributes official information with the acknowledgment of the source. The moderator of VRAO is no longer staff of VMGD.