Up to 130,000 in path of tropical cyclone Harold as storm approaches Vanuatu capital
Oxfam is ready to respond to tropical cyclone Harold, which is expected to hit Vanuatu in the next 24 hours.
The storm’s current path suggests it will pass through the Vanuatu island group, potentially affecting the capital Port Vila, as a powerful Category 5 storm. Hundreds of thousands of vulnerable islanders lie in its path.
TC Harold has already left a trail of damage in the Solomon Islands. Reports are coming in of heavy flooding and fallen trees damaging buildings, with most concern for people on the southern islands of Rennell and Bellona.
TC Harold arrives as ni-Vanuatu are living under a State of Emergency to prevent the introduction of the Covid-19 coronavirus in their country. There have been no confirmed cases of the disease in Vanuatu. However, a significant disaster at this time could present serious logistical challenges to delivering life-saving aid, while adding to the significant economic and social toll the global pandemic has already taken on the country.
Oxfam New Zealand is in working with local partner organisations and Oxfam offices in the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, who are prepared and equipped to stand up a response if required.
For more information or to coordinate an interview, please contact Kelsey-Rae Taylor at Kelsey-Rae.Taylor@oxfam.org.nz or 021 298 5894.