Ambae/Maewo situation overview

Ambae evacuation Aug2018THE NDMO Maewo has released this situation overview this morning as the Ambae evacuation continues this week.

A State of Emergency is in place on the island of Ambae until the 26th September 2018.

The Vanuatu Meteorology and GeoHazard Department has the Ambae Volcano at Alert Level 3.

A full, compulsory evacuation of the island of Ambae is currently underway as per the Vanuatu Council of Ministers decision on July 26. The Government is supporting people to move to the Island of Maewo. Voluntary movements are taking place from Ambae to other locations.

Government emergency response assistance is focused on Maewo. However, those with special needs and their carers are being supported in movement to Luganville, Santo where this is most appropriate for their circumstances. Movement of those with special needs will take place tomorrow from several pick-up locations on Ambae.

So far over 1250 people have been relocated by the Government from Ambae to Maewo. The next vessels to depart Ambae for Maewo will be today August 7.

Government relocations to Maewo are estimated to be completed by Friday 10th August 2018.

Voluntary movements of people from Ambae to other locations are not being officially tracked due to impracticalities. Secondary sources are being used to estimate these numbers.

Director General Ministry of Lands with relocation specialists arrived on Maewo today to continue the planning of long term relocation sites.

Partner agencies including the Vanuatu Red Cross, community and faith based organisations, non -government organisations, the private sector, donors and the United Nations continue to provide support to the Government of Vanuatu’s response operation. General Coordination .

The onsite emergency operations centre (EOC) in Kerebei is now the primary coordination hub.

At the onsite EOC there are daily coordination meetings at 8am and 5pm.

On Saturday August 4, five additional National Disaster Management Office staff relocated to Kerebei to support operation management. A small team remains based at the National Emergency Operations Centre in Port Vila to coordinate national logistics, information and communication.

Cluster have provided immediate actions plans to contribute to the Government operation plan and are mobilising additional personnel to support operations on the ground.

Operational Update:

The storage of food and non-food items for the operation on Maewo is being stored in selected public buildings in Kerebei and managed by NDMO staff.

A mobile storage unit will be set up in Kerebei later this week to provide additional storage.

Last week The Vanuatu Red Cross completed an NFI distribution on Ambae to 1000 of the most affected and vulnerable communities. The distribution was a family kit including: tarpaulins; tools; hygiene, and kitchen items. Recipients are taking these items when relocating.

The Vanuatu Red Cross is assisting in the movement of vulnerable communities off Ambae.

The Vanuatu Red Cross will shortly be relocating their operations to Kerebei on Maewo with additional volunteers to support the relocation process.

The Vanuatu Mobile Force are providing support to the operation.

Shelter supplies have arrived in Maewo from Santo over the weekend including tarpaulins, shelter toolkits, large tents, solar street lights and lanterns, and mosquito nets.

There are ongoing food distributions on Maewo to those who have relocated.

NGOs working on the ground supporting the Government response include Save the Children, Care international and Vanuatu Family Health.

All partner agencies and responders have been requested to make themselves aware of the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA) guidelines circulated earlier today by the NDMO from the Gender and Protection Cluster.

Displacement Figures

Due to the number and complexity of movements of people from Ambae, all figures are to be considered estimates.

The National Disaster Management Office will provide location and disaggregated data to operational partners as a priority. It is advised that this will take some time.

Following is an estimated number of people who have participated in government assisted relocation from Ambae to Maewo as of 8am on August 6.

  • Naumumu/Verue Confirmed Evacuation Centre 59
  • Marino Confirmed Evacuation Centre 122
  • Naone Confirmed Evacuation Centre 149
  • Lalavaru Confirmed Evacuation Centre 24
  • Narovorovo Confirmed Evacuation Centre 466
  • Gambule Transition 193
  • Sulua School Transition 205
  • Navenvene Host Family 18
  • Matberingi (Rembu) Host family
  • Boskole Host family

Total estimated on Maewo 1,250+

Voluntary movements of people from Ambae to other locations are not being officially tracked due to resource constraints and complexity. Unofficial figures from maritime authorities indicate that approximately 1100 people have moved from west Ambae to Santo in the last week.