State Of Emergency Declared as Two Cyclones Hit Vanuatu

    Photo: AFP [via Al Jazeera]

    The Facts

    • On Friday, Vanuatu declared a state of emergency as two earthquakes and two massive Category 4 cyclones rattled the Pacific nation in a week.

    • On Wednesday, the country was hit by Cyclone Judy, which cut power, flooded roads, uprooted trees, and forced hundreds of residents to flee to evacuation centers.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    Vanuatu is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Rising sea levels, increasingly powerful cyclones, and associated strong winds, heavy rains, flooding, landslides, and road closures not just cripple its economy; they threaten Vanuatu's children's future. The world's biggest carbon dioxide emitters must take legal responsibility for the changing climate and the consequence of causing extreme weather events.

    Narrative B

    Due to its location, cyclones, earthquakes, and seismic activities are a regular phenomenon in Vanuatu — which is why blaming the frequency and intensity of its extreme weather events on global warming is a stretch. Earthquakes and cyclones can’t be stopped, but there are ways of reducing their impact, like investing in disaster preparedness.

    Nerd narrative

    There's an 85% chance that there be at least 2˚C of global warming by 2100, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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