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20TH MARCH 2015 UPDATE -Vanuatu Cyclone Emergency Response 

This afternoon, ABM heard from Dr Abraham Hauriasi, General Secretary of the Anglican Church of Melanesia (ACOM)

“Communication to the other islands in Vanuatu is slowly being restored through one of the mobile networks- Digicel. I spoke with Bp. James Ligo of the Diocese of Vanuatu and New Caledonia this morning and he is planning to send an assessment team of 6 people to the islands of Ambae, Maevo and Pentecost which appear to have been affected most apart from those in the southern region including Port Vila.  As flights have not resumed to these islands, they will travel by boat.  He has requested initial funds, VUV 500,000 for this purpose. We plan to disburse this amount to our provincial office in Santo so the assessment teams can travel as soon as possible. According to Bp. James, the National Disaster Management office is yet to do an assessment of these islands.

I have also spoken to the Deputy General Secretary in Vanuatu who has been stranded in Sola in the Diocese of Banks and Torres since last week. Flights to the northern flights may resume this Sunday. According to him, the northern islands appeared to have escaped the worst of the cyclone and no serious damages have been reported. Our institutions in the diocese have escaped relatively unscathed. An assessment team is currently undertaking a survey of the islands.

On their advice, I have also written to the director of the National Disaster Management office in Vila informing the office of our intention to assist with emergency relief and how such help could be channelled. We are hearing that all relief work are being coordinated by the national government. We shall keep everyone informed of any directions from the NDMO.            

Thank you and regards