ADRA responds to Vanuatu cyclones
6 March, 2023
The delivery of 216 tarpaulins donated by Bunnings Warehouse Australia has arrived in Vanuatu. These tarps will provide much-needed shelter to those whose homes have been damaged by category 4 cyclones Judy and Kevin. Over 80% of the population was affected by the storms. Thank you Bunnings!
In times of disaster, feeling psychologically and emotionally safe is crucial to recovery. ADRA’s Blossom team have carried out self care activities for some families who were taking shelter at Fokona Seventh-day Adventist Primary School during cyclones Judy and Kevin.
During the awareness and participatory activities, the community got to talk about how they felt having gone through the twin cyclones and trying to rebuild their lives with the limited resources they have.
A big thank you to Bunnings Warehouse Australia for their generous donation of 216 tarpaulins for our cyclone response in Vanuatu.
Cyclones Judy and Kevin were a pair of severe tropical cyclones that made landfall in Vanuatu within 48 hours of each other earlier this month. The storms destroyed buildings and water systems. Over 80% of the population was affected.
The tarpaulins will leave for Vanuatu next week by RAAF flight and will provide much-needed shelter to those whose homes have been damaged. Our sincerest gratitude to Bunnings for their significant donation.
Janet (42) is married with 4 children and lives in Efate, Port Vila.
Cyclone Judy and Kevin destroyed her food gardens which is where she gets most of the food from to feed her family. The cyclones also destroyed her home so she has been living with her family at the evacuation centre at Britano.
Yesterday ADRA distributed food packs to Janet and 22 other households currently taking shelter at Britano school. ADRA will also be providing shelter kits to these households.
The food rations and shelter kits will help Janet and her family to rebuild their lives.
“Thank you ADRA for supporting my family in our time of need.”
To support ADRA’s response to disasters like the cyclones that wreaked havoc in Vanuatu, donate at adra.org.au/disaster.
ADRA’s Elang Family Support Services Centrein Etas has become a place of refuge for families affected by cyclones Judy and Kevin.
Loma, her children and grandchildren remained at home because they thought their house would withstand Cyclone Judy. However, as the winds grew stronger, it blew down their kitchen and lifted the roof off their house.
Loma gathered her children and grand children and they ran through the dangerous wind to ADRA’s Elang Family Support Services Centre. They took shelter until the winds died and continued taking refuge there when Cyclone Kevin struck.
Marie, her husband, two children and two grand children were in their house when Tropical Cyclone Judy blew off the wall and rain water started rushing into the house. Marie used blankets to try to stop the water flowing throughout the house.
The winds however, became stronger and soon parts of the roof was lifted up. That’s when Marie gathered her family and they ran through the rain and wind gusts to ADRA’s Elang Family Support Services Centre.
They were safe in the shelter and continued staying until TC Kevin passed.
ADRA is supporting families in two evacuation centres on Efate with food supplies. These families have lost their homes and gardens. They spend the day cleaning up their homes and return to the evacuation centres to spend the night. Many are not sure how long they will remain at the evacuation centres are they are not financially able to rebuild their lives.
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Vanuatu declared a state of emergency as category 4 Cyclone Kevin swept through the island nation on Friday (March 3), destroying homes and leaving many in need of shelter. The country had already been hit by extreme weather two days earlier after Cyclone Judy battered Port Vila on Wednesday (March 1).
Many fruit trees were wiped out, affecting families that rely on the harvest for both food and income. Flash flooding has also affected communities in Tanna and many remain without power.
Tanna and other islands located in the south of Vanuatu are without telecommunications, meaning that many communities have been unable to contact others.
ADRA is on the ground in Vanuatu responding. The humanitarian agency opened two evacuation centres—one in Santo and another in Port Vila—to provide shelter during the cyclone. The centre in Port Vila remains open, providing shelter to people who have lost their homes, along with food and counselling services.
The ADRA team on the ground is working to survey the needs of affected communities to determine how best to respond. ADRA Vanuatu project manager Pastor Thomas Belden who runs a health project in Efate was one of the first on the ground conducting a rapid needs assessment of his local community.
The Vanuatu Mission is working closely with ADRA to provide support and an ADRA emergency operations centre has been set up in the mission office.
The local ADRA team in Vanuatu is partnering with a regional response team with members from ADRA South Pacific, ADRA New Zealand and ADRA Australia.
“Our local team on the ground have been amazing; they have spent this last weekend setting up an emergency response to help families when they need it most,” shares Anna Cherry, a regional response team member and ADRA New Zealand program manager.
To support ADRA’s disaster response work visit www.adra.org.au/disaster.
This article was originally published in the Adventist Record.