First reports of damage from Cyclone Donna, World Vision on the ground

05 May 2017 by World Vision New Zealand
First reports of damage from Cyclone Donna, World Vision on the ground
World Vision has received first reports of damage by Cyclone Donna which has made landfall in the north of Vanuatu.

A former World Vision staff member based in the Torba province, Bob Din, confirms winds have already downed trees and many people are sheltering in evacuation centres. “A church and many houses were destroyed by Donna overnight”, Din said.

Vanuatu remains on high alert as Cyclone Donna moves over the archipelago over the next 24 hours with gale force winds of up to 205km/hr predicted. It is also forecasted to bring heavy rain, flooding and sea swelling of up to 6m. 

World Vision is on the ground preparing communities in the path of the cyclone.  The aid agency also has pre-positioned emergency supplies such as food, blankets, tarpaulins and hygiene and kitchen kits ready should they be needed.

“The communities we work with have been advised of the threat, and are preparing for the cyclone. World Vision has relief items already available in the capital (Port Vila) and also on Santo and Tanna Islands,” says Michael Wolfe, World Vision Vanuatu Country Director. 

“World Vision works with some of the most vulnerable and remote communities, and our staff have being doing great work raising awareness about the cyclone through the community disaster committees that have been established. We know that children and families in remote communities are following community disaster plans that our staff have helped them to put in place.” 

Vanuatu’s National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) has also activated its operation centre and continues to monitor the cyclone progression.

“The NDMO is using phone messages to spread preparedness awareness to the population of Vanuatu and radio awareness has also started,” said NDMO’s director Shadrack Welegtabit.

With more than 30 years of experience in Vanuatu and 80 staff based throughout the country, World Vision has been working closely with national and local government disaster response teams and other agencies to monitor the situation, and prepare to respond. 

Chloe Irvine, Head of External Affairs, World Vision New Zealand  |  ‚Äč+64 22 340 4271