Ambae volcano crisis: unprecedented mass evacuation facing difficulties

These satellite images, taken 19 August (top) and 29 September (bottom) show the rapid growth of the Manaro Voui volcanic cone. Photo: via Twitter/@planetlabs

These satellite images, taken 19 August (top) and 29 September (bottom) show the rapid growth of the Manaro Voui volcanic cone. Photo: via Twitter/@planetlabs

Awareness sessions have been taking place across Ambae to discuss how the evacuation of Ambae’s 11,000+ people —4% of Vanuatu’s total population– will Read the rest of this entry »

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Breaking news: Vanuatu Govt orders evacuation of entire 11,100 population of Ambae

Breaking: the Vanuatu Government’s Council of Ministers has ordered the mass evacuation of the entire population of Ambae – approximately Read the rest of this entry »


Shelter, food and water in short supply for Ambae volcano evacuees

Evacuees recently disembarked from a landing vessel line the shore at Waluriki, north Ambae island yesterday. Photo: John Metojoe/Facebook

Evacuees recently disembarked from a landing vessel line the shore at Waluriki, north Ambae island yesterday. Photo: John Metojoe/Facebook

The Vanuatu Government has released Vt 200 million for the Read the rest of this entry »


Cyclone Pam recovery effort celebrated at Independence Day exhibition

A woman cleans up in Port Vila after Cyclone Pam. Photo: UNFPA

A woman cleans up in Port Vila after Cyclone Pam. Photo: UNFPA

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Happy International Womens’ Day? Pregnant women still sleeping on hospital floor in Vanuatu

Vila Central Hospital: pregnant women forced to sleep on the floor in maternity ward

Vila Central Hospital: pregnant women forced to sleep on the floor in maternity ward

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Red alert issued for Tafea Province as Cyclone Ula nears

Cyclone Ula satellite animation from wunderground.com

Cyclone Ula satellite animation from wunderground.com

A Red Alert for Cyclone Ula is in effect for the south of Tafea Province, according to the latest advisory from Vanuatu Meteorological Services’ Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre issued at 8:54pm Sunday 10/1.

Update 8:30am VUT 11/1/2015: The NDMO has given the All Clear for Tafea Province. As the cyclone is slowly moving away from Vanuatu waters, this will be the final update on Severe Tropical Cyclone Ula unless the cyclone turns back.

Residents of the affected parts of Tafea province are advised to take shelter from the cyclone immediately.

Overnight, heavy rain and flooding in low-lying coastal areas and riverbanks are expected in the affected areas, along with very rough to phenomenal seas with heavy swells.

Winds at the centre are currently at 175km/hr and intensifying. Damaging strong to gale force 65–75km/hr winds will continue to affect Aneityum, Futuna and south Tanna overnight. The eye of the cyclone is not expected to pass over any islands in Vanuatu at this time. The cyclone is currently moving away from Vanuatu in a southwesterly direction.

Cyclone Ula is a Category 4 severe tropical cyclone currently located at the bottom centre of J10 on the Vanuatu Tropical Cyclone Tracking Map (shown below), or about 95km southeast of Aneityum and 190km southeast of Tanna.

Tropical Cyclone Forecast Track Map Number 16 issued at 9:07 pm VUT Sunday 10 January 2016


Vanuatu daily news digest | 6 February 2013

Vanuatu Meteorological Services have just released a tsunami advisory following a 8.0 earthquake in the Santa Cruz Islands north of Vanuatu. The advisory reads:

Tsunami Advisory Number 2 for Vanuatu issued by the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department at 1:30 pm Wednesday, February 06, 2013

At 12:12 pm local time today 06th February 2013, an earthquake of magnitude 8.0 was located at 10.9 degrees south, 165.1 Degrees East. This is about 575 kilometers north northwest of Luganville, Santo.

An earthquake of this size has the potential to cause destructive Tsunami that can strike coastlines near the epicenter within minutes and more distant coastlines within hours. The National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) advises people throughout Vanuatu to take appropriate action and precautionary measures upon receiving this advisory. This includes immediate evacuation from coastal areas and to higher grounds.

People throughout northern and central Vanuatu who have moved to high grounds are asked to remain. Those who have not, are asked to do so.

People are advised to continue to listen to all radio outlets. The next advisory will be updated today at 2.30 pm today.

The Prime Minister’s Office wants the Police to investigate whether Hilaire Bule has defamed PM Kilman in last weekend’s Independent newspaper, where he alleged that Pascal Anh Quan Saken contributed USD200,000 to PM Kilman’s 2012 election campaign. Bule says he will offer proof of the transaction this coming weekend in the Independent, VBTC News reported yesterday. As we have reported previously, a police investigation into Anh Quan Saken and the arrival of the Phocea was opened six months ago by the Police Trans-National Crime Unit, but promptly halted by the Government for unspecified reasons. The officer in charge of the investigation, Andrew Kalman, was suspended, and remains so to this day. Patunvanu, however, gets a full page of today’s Daily Post to rant in. It seems he views the media revelations about Phocea as a “conspiracy against Vanuatu” and calls for an Ombudsman report. What a good idea. An Ombudsman report on Saken’s illegal activities with the Phocea and Government Ministers might finally reveal why members of the Government of this nation are getting into bed with an alleged drug and arms smuggler.

Speaking of libellious statements, Vanuatu blogger Phil Manhire strenuously denies all assertions by Jeff Joel Patunvanu that he is associated with Pascal Anh Quan Saken. As well as blogging, Manhire sits on the board of Vanuatu Youth Against Corruption.

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