Cyclone Donna: CARE prepares to respond in Vanuatu

 Vanuatu
 Emergency Response
 5th May 2017

Two years since Cyclone Pam devastated Vanuatu, aid agency CARE is again preparing an emergency response as the Pacific nation braces for the strongest cyclone to hit the country since 2015.

Tropical Cyclone Donna has already reached Vanuatu’s northern-most islands as a category three cyclone, bringing winds of up to 145 kilometres an hour, rough seas and torrential rain.

CARE’s Country Director in Vanuatu Megan Chisholm said, “With the predictions changing constantly, the entire country must be prepared. We’re very concerned for families in the remote islands that are being, or are likely to be, affected by this strong storm.”

“Families in remote islands are particularly vulnerable – their homes are not built to withstand strong winds and rain and they are very hard to reach with warning messages. We are working closely with Vanuatu’s government and community disaster committees to make sure everyone is prepared. We know if families are warned and can prepare, lives will be saved.”

CARE has been working in Vanuatu since 2008, helping communities prepare for natural disasters by providing basic first aid training, use of early warning systems, and training in what to do when a disaster hits.

As Cyclone Donna approaches, CARE is working alongside the Vanuatu Government and other organisations and is set to respond with lifesaving support including food, water and shelter.

“At this stage, we’re preparing for the worst but hoping for the best,” added Ms Chisholm.

ENDS

For interviews with Country Director Megan Chisholm in Vanuatu, contact Nerida Williams on +61 412 449 691 or Elissa Webster, Communications Coordinator in Vanuatu, on +678 5904674 or Elissa.Webster@careint.org

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