Aerial survey reveals widespread crop damage in Vanuatu

A damaged house, fallen trees and damaged gardens on Uripiv, a low-lying island close to Malekula. Photo: Facebook/ Ben Bo.
A damaged house, fallen trees and damaged gardens on Uripiv, a low-lying island close to Malekula. Photo: Facebook/ Ben Bo.

DISASTER authorities in Vanuatu say cyclone Hola caused widespread damage on most islands in the central parts of the country.

Last week, the cyclone passed over Vanuatu as a category two strengthening to a category three, with destructive winds of more than 150 kilometres an hour.

The director of Vanuatu’s Disaster Management Office, Peter Korisa, said an aerial survey of the affected areas was conducted yesterday.

It found Hola caused major damage to food gardens, houses and public infrastructure.

Mr Korisa said the damage to gardens was particularly concerning.

“Most people in Vanuatu they are small farmers, subsistence farming, so they depend on small plots of gardening as the means of their livelihood. So we have flown to several islands, they have noticed that most of their gardening has been damaged.”

He said his office had yet to confirm reports that one person was killed during the cyclone and several others seriously injured.

The NDMO director said food, water and shelter were the priorities for the relief effort going forwards.

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