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Pacific – Cyclone Harold: Final ETC Situation Report #8, Reporting period 01/10/2020 – 03/10/2020

Countries
Vanuatu
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ETC
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Highlights

• The ETC in the Pacific responded to the Cyclone Harold emergency throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the ETC implemented a remote emergency telecommunications response plan for Fiji and Vanuatu, delivered through national authorities, local partners and global ETC partners.

• On 10 April, the Crisis Connectivity Charter (CCC) was activated to support recovery efforts in Fiji and Vanuatu.

• The ETC was allocated US$199,262 from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) for the response to Cyclone Harold in Vanuatu. The CERF allocation supported the provision of connectivity services in three remote cyclone-affected sites in Vanuatu and the restoration of damaged broadcast radio and television transmission infrastructure.

Situation Overview

Between 1-9 April, Cyclone Harold swept across the Pacific, hitting multiple Pacific Island Countries (PICs) in its path. At its peak, Cyclone Harold reached severe category 5 as it made landfall in Vanuatu, causing widespread damage to communications networks and broadcast radio and television infrastructure. Cyclone Harold became the second strongest tropical cyclone to ever hit Vanuatu. Communications infrastructure in Fiji was also damaged by the cyclone.

At the same time as Cyclone Harold hit, most PICs were in a state of emergency as they responded to COVID19, enforcing travel and shipping restrictions to slow the spread of the virus, which has impacted on the emergency response.