Residents of Vanuatu are hunkering down as a cyclone barrels through the Pacific island nation

ByNICK PERRY Associated Press

February 28, 2023, 6:57 PM

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Residents of Vanuatu were hunkering down Wednesday as a cyclone barreled through the Pacific island nation.

Authorities said that there were power outages in some areas and many fallen trees and branches, but it was too early to assess the extent of the damage with Cyclone Judy still raging. They said there were no initial reports of major destruction or deaths.

Some people had moved to evacuation sites as heavy rainfall flooded their homes.

Others were barricading themselves inside as authorities issued a red alert in the capital, Port Vila, and some other regions — meaning people shouldn’t leave their homes unless absolutely necessary.

The cyclone forced businesses and schools to close, and airlines to cancel flights.

Brenda Williams, a spokesperson for Vanuatu’s National Disaster Management Office, said Cyclone Judy was packing destructive winds of around 150 kilometers per hour (93 miles per hour) with gusts of up to 200 kph (124 mph).

Williams said the calmer eye of the tropical cyclone had passed over the capital Wednesday morning and they were starting to experience strong winds again as the tail moved through.

She said the center and southern islands were in line to be hit and they were still waiting on damage reports from many places.

Shadrack Welegtabit, a political advisor to the climate change minister, said people had been warned of the impending cyclone earlier in the week and had been preparing by stocking up on fresh drinking water and food, and by strengthening the exteriors of their homes.

“It’s too early to assess the damage; we’re still in the middle of it,” he said. “The other half is coming soon.”

Located to the east of Australia and the north of New Zealand, Vanuatu is home to about 300,000 people.

Source link

You May Also Like

The Fight is Not Over: Invest in Courageous, Progressive Journalism

The struggle for democracy persists as we come into the second half…

At least 41 killed in Islamic extremist attack on Ugandan secondary school, authorities say

At least 41 people were killed by rebel extremists in a brutal…

Iran arrests Oscar-winning movie actress after social media post criticizes regime

Authorities in Iran have arrested a prominent actress in relation to the…

Killer who put lover in a meatgrinder is FREED after fighting in Ukraine

A KILLER who used a meat-grinder to dispose his lover’s body has…