Vanuatu declares a state of emergency

Posted on 03 March 2023

Vanuatu has declared a state of emergency due to the severe damage caused to infrastructure and homes by Tropical Cyclone Judy. This comes as the country faces another cyclone, named Kevin, which is tracking as a Category 3 as it passes through.

Over 160,000 people are believed to be affected as Cyclone Judy wreaked havoc across Vanuatu, leaving behind a massive path of destruction. This category 4 cyclone generated winds reaching up to 150 km/h, with gusts reaching 200 km/h, leading to severe damage of infrastructure, buildings, connectivity, and crops.

Prime Minister Ishmael Kalsakau stated that declaring a state of emergency would allow the islands most affected by Judy to receive immediate assistance. He said:

"Our officials are working around the clock to try and assess the impact of the cyclone [Judy] on all the provinces in the country. At this stage they are still compiling an official report that we will be able to work with and which will enable our development partners to appreciate the level of assistance that we will require from them."

Several of the Council for International Development's Humanitarian Network members have local partners and pre-positioned supplies in readiness to assist in Vanuatu. They will coordinate with the authorities to identify the needs and respond accordingly.

Our thoughts and aroha are with the people of Vanuatu.