Tropical Cyclone Lola’s impact on Vanuatu has been devastating, with at least two lives lost on Ambrym Island, one of the hardest-hit areas during the storm. The cyclone, which struck the island as a Category 4 storm, caused extensive damage, including the destruction of traditional homes and critical infrastructure. New Zealand’s High Commissioner to Vanuatu, Nicci Simmonds, reported that the fatalities were linked to the destruction of a health clinic, highlighting the tragic consequences of disrupted medical services due to the cyclone’s impact.
In response to the crisis, the Vanuatu government has declared a State of Emergency (SOE) for several provinces, including Torba, Sanma, Penama, Malampa, and Shefa. This declaration is aimed at streamlining government departments’ responses to address the impacts of TC Lola. It’s important to note that the SOE is not expected to change daily life for ordinary citizens and residents, as stated by Vanuatu’s Minister for Climate Change, Bruno Regenvanu.
The devastating effects of cyclones like Lola underscore the urgent need for preparedness and support in the face of extreme weather events. Our thoughts are with the people of Vanuatu as they work to recover from this disaster and rebuild their communities.