Vanuatu National Council of Women celebrates 37 years

Participants at last night's 'Reclaim the Night' march marking VNCW's 37th birthday. Photo: Australian High Commission/Facebook

Participants at last night’s ‘Reclaim the Night’ march marking VNCW’s 37th birthday. Photo: Australian High Commission/Facebook

What a glorious occasion: the 37th anniversary of the Vanuatu National Council of Women demonstrating a unity that men have sought but never found. Present were women from Read the rest of this entry »


NASA analysis shows more than 624mm of rain fell on northern islands during Cyclone Donna

The video above from the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) shows rainfall during Cyclone Donna as it crossed northern Vanuatu between May 2 and May 10. Extreme rainfall exceeding 624mm is shown in purple. Aerial reconnaissance has revealed damage to villages, buildings and crops in the Torres and Banks islands from cyclonic winds, extreme rainfall and storm surges.

At last: the agreement to start the Bauerfield runway works has been signed by  Read the rest of this entry »


Vanuatu switches into recovery mode as Cyclone Donna moves away

Government building left hanging at Tagabe after Cyclone Donna flooding. Photo: Joel Ates via Facebook

Government building left hanging at Tagabe after Cyclone Donna flooding. Photo: Joel Ates via Facebook

Cyclone Donna has moved on to New Caledonia and is now weakening. The only major damage so far reported – except for garden damage – was along the length of the Forestry Department HQ at Tagabe where a deep gorge has been carved out by floodwater from Cyclone Donna overflowing the Read the rest of this entry »


Cyclone Donna reaches Cat 4 strength offshore: alerts remain in place

TC Donna is now a Category 4 cyclone, with winds at the centre of 165km/h and gusts up to 235km/h. It stretches the full length of the country. Damage to buildings and crops have been reported in the Torres and Banks islands. All domestic flights in the country are cancelled.

Cyclone Donna continues to wobble out at sea, but nevertheless remains extremely dangerous. The track forecast by Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-hazards Dept shows it weakening and heading away towards New Caledonia. However, the US Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center warns that Cyclone Donna’s full intensity may not be felt for another 48 hours, and its path will remain erratic.

Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Nauru Palau and the Marshall Islands delivered a hard-hitting joint statement on the plight of West Papua to the 79-member Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States meeting at ministerial level this week in Brussels. Authored by MP Johnny Koanapo, Parliamentary Secretary for the Prime Minister’s Office, the packed council room was trans-fixed as he described Indonesia’s violations and the West Papuan slow-motion genocide. (Daily Post). Read the rest of this entry »


Cyclone Donna turns to southeast; future path and intensity unclear

A school on Vanua Lava damaged by Cyclone Donna. Photo: Joshua Bule/Facebook

A school on Vanua Lava damaged by Cyclone Donna. Photo: Joshua Bule/Facebook

As of the latest cyclone warning #16 from the Vanuatu Meteorology Dept, at 3pm today Category 3 Tropical Cyclone Donna was about 80km NNW of the Torres Islands and 215km NW of Gaua, moving slowly in a southeast direction at 5km/h. Central pressure is 954 hPa. Winds at the centre were estimated to be 145km/h gusting to 205km/h. Schools have been told to close in the northern provinces. The image above shows damage from Cyclone Donna to a school on Vanua Lava.

Most meteorological forecast models predict Cyclone Donna will take a path away from Vanuatu’s islands and will weaken over the next three days as it heads southeast. However, this cyclone is very slow moving and could change direction and intensity at any time, so please prepare for the worst. This is still a very dangerous cyclone, and it will bring destructive storm surges, flooding and heavy rain even if it doesn’t make landfall. We’ll keep you updated here. Read the rest of this entry »


Imprisoned ex-politicians to be released this Friday — but must return to Court in four days’ time

The catalyst for political change: The 14 MPs are taken to prison following their convictions in October last year

The scene in October 15 after 14 MPs were convicted and taken to prison. Photo: TIV

The parole-granted release of ten former MPs on Friday (after the 7 April Appeal Court decision) is overshadowed by the fact that they will be back in court next week to enter their pleas in the retrial of the conspiracy case. Public Prosecutor Naiguleva says Read the rest of this entry »


Vohor and Kalsakau to be released on parole tomorrow

Eligible for parole: Serge Vohor, left, and Steven Kalsakau (right). Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Graham Crumb (Vohor), supplied

Former PM Serge Vohor and former minister Steven Kalsakau will be released from prison on parole tomorrow. Eleven other former politicians are also eligible for release, several from the corrupt former government incarcerated after charges of guilt in a huge bribery case. The former Prime Minister Moana Carcasses cannot be considered for good behaviour release until at least October. Under the Leadership Code Act, their criminal convictions mean they will not be able to stand again for political office until 2025. Read the rest of this entry »