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Vanuatu begins assessments

Tuesday 7 April 2020 | Written by Legacy Author | Published in Small World

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RNZ reports that extensive damage are emerging from parts of Vanuatu struck by Cyclone Harold yesterday, but communication with much of the battered region is proving difficult.

Winds in excess of 230km/h tore across the country's northern and central islands, and heavy rain has damaged many roads and food gardens.

The cyclone, still a category five, is slowly moving away from the country towards Fiji, providing an opportunity for assessment flights to begin.

Phone communication is down to many affected islands - Maewo, Pentecost, Ambae, rural Santo, and others - which sustained the cyclone's full force overnight.

A spokesperson for Vanuatu's caretaker prime minister, Charlot Salwai, said the council of ministers would be meeting today to decide the government's next steps, and a decision would be made on whether to ask for international help.

That would involve relaxing the country's border restrictions, with the country effectively sealed off under a state of emergency to prevent the spread of Covid-19 to Vanuatu.

> Jamie Tahana, RNZ Pacific Journalist.