National Disaster Management Office

 On March 13th 2015, Vanuatu was hit by a category-5 cyclone (Tropical Cyclone PAM) that struck half of the country and caused heavy damage. This event revived public awareness of necessity of cyclone preparedness and action on climate change. Seasonal variation in rainfall is fairly high, with the dryer months occurring from June through September. This dry period coincides with the cooler months. Tropical cyclones usually occur in the warmer months, November through April.Torba Province is also vulnerable respectively to anomalously long dry spells and prolonged wet conditions  associated with the El Niño (warm phase) and La Niña (cool phase) of the El Niño- Southern Oscillation phenomenon. Recently in 2015/2016, Torba Province has been affected by El Niño drought, resulting in shortage of water and food. Torba is also highly vulnerable to otherextreme climate events including storm surges, coastal, river flooding and landslides. Sea level is rising by over 6mm per year across the province and ocean acidification is occurring as well as yearly coral bleaching events. These climate related impacts are causing food insecurity and other livelihoods issues throughout TORBA.

Also, being located in a seismically and volcanically active zone, Vanuatu is exposed to geological hazards: earthquakes, tsunami and volcanic eruptions. The Torres Islands frequently experience earthquakes and tsunamis that threaten (mainly) coastal settlement. For example, subsidence following an earthquake in 1997 caused an entire coastal coconut plantation on the nearby island of Loh to become submerged in seawater. Current climate change and sea-level rise is already exacerbating the risks posed from tropical cyclones, coastal and river flooding, coastal erosion, heavy rainfall events and droughts. This, matched with highly uncertain geological hazards, poses particular risks in the coastal zone of most islands in the Torres especially. Torba Province has 2 volcanos active in Vanualava and Gaua. If eruptive events are not frequent in Gaua and Vanualava, recent historical events have shown that damages can occur at any time. Indeed, in 2009, the increased activity at Gaua volcano has forced the evacuation of over 500 people from 5 communities and has damaged livelihood and water sources of communities in west gaua for a long term period. Most of the time, people in Torba have managed to organize only a partial response to large and small scale disasters. As an example in 2015/2016, coping mechanism have been developed both at community level and provincial level to better cope with droughts impacts. Indeed, communities have engage in transportation of water in between areas, food sharing and in mitigation activities resulting from community action plan such (digging of wells). TORBA PDCCC has also supported communities in the most affected areas (Mota) by supporting for the relocation of household near water sources.

Government of VanuatuNDMO

Phone: +678 22699 / +678 33366  Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Post: NDMO, Private Mail Bag 9107, Port Vila, Vanuatu