Tropical cyclones Judy and Kevin affected 80% of Vanuatu

Tropical cyclones Kevin and Judy at 13:20 UTC on March 2, 2023

The passage of tropical cyclones Judy and Kevin over central-southern Vanuatu from February 28 to March 3, 2023, has caused widespread damage and devastation. According to the UN OCHA, 251 346 people, which is around 80% of the total population, have been affected by cyclones.

The aftermath of the cyclones has left 5 156 people still evacuated and seeking refuge in 106 evacuation centers located in the Shefa and Tafea Provinces. The damage caused by the cyclones has also resulted in 28 schools being damaged and made inaccessible, hampering educational opportunities for children in affected areas.

National authorities, NGOs, and humanitarian partners are working hard to provide assistance and support to those most affected by the cyclones. In response to Vanuatu’s request for assistance from the Union Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM), one country has offered various capacities.

tropical cyclones kevin and judy at 1320z march 2 2023
Tropical cyclones Kevin and Judy at 13:20 UTC on March 2, 2023. Credit: JMA/Himawari-8, RAMMB/CIRA, The Watchers

The Copernicus Emergency Management Service was activated in rapid mapping mode (EMSR653) on March 4, and 16 maps have been produced so far. These maps will aid in the emergency response efforts by providing critical information on the extent of the damage caused by the cyclones and identifying areas that require immediate attention.

As the affected regions in Vanuatu struggle to recover from the cyclones, more rain is expected to cause further disruption. On March 14 – 15, light to moderate rain with localized thunderstorms is expected across most parts of Vanuatu, particularly over Shefa Province. This could further exacerbate the situation and make it even more challenging for those already affected.

References:

1 Vanuatu – Tropical cyclones Judy and Kevin, update – DG ECHO – March 14, 2023

Featured image: Tropical cyclones Kevin and Judy at 13:20 UTC on March 2, 2023. Credit: JMA/Himawari-8, RAMMB/CIRA, The Watchers

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