State Of Emergency Declared as Two Cyclones Hit Vanuatu

    State Of Emergency Declared as Two Cyclones Hit Vanuatu
    Last updated Mar 04, 2023
    Image credit: AFP [via Al Jazeera]


    • On Friday, Vanuatu declared a state of emergency as two earthquakes and two massive Category 4 cyclones rattled the Pacific nation in a week.[1]
    • 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.[2]
    • Residents were jolted early Friday by two earthquakes — one of magnitude 6.5 and the other 5.4 — and the nation was later hit by Cyclone Kevin, which passed over the capital Port Vila and was moving across the southern island province of Tafea on Saturday morning, bringing torrential rain and destructive winds of 230 km/hr (143mph).[3]
    • Though a red alert is in effect for Tafea and all boats were advised to avoid going to sea, winds are expected to weaken as Cyclone Kevin continues moving southeast.[4]
    • While UNICEF Pacific is shipping emergency supplies to support Vanuatu in disaster relief, Australia said it would send a 12-member assessment team and an initial assistance package on a Royal Australian Air Force aircraft to assist the country.[5]
    • Vanuatu sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire," making it the world's most vulnerable to natural disasters, including earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and cyclones, according to the UN University.[6]


    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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