12 Mar 2018

Aerial survey reveals widespread crop damage in Vanuatu

5:43 pm on 12 March 2018

Disaster authorities in Vanuatu say cyclone Hola caused widespread damage on most islands in the central parts of the country.

A damaged house, fallen trees and damaged gardens on Uripiv, a low-lying island close to Malekula.

A damaged house, fallen trees and damaged gardens on Uripiv, a low-lying island close to Malekula. Photo: Facebook/ Ben Bo

Last week, the cyclone passed over Vanuatu as a category two strengthening to a category three with destructive winds over 150 kilometres an hour.

The operations manager of Vanuatu's Disaster Management Office, Peter Korisa, said an aerial survey of the affected areas was conducted yesterday.

It found Hola caused major damage to food gardens, houses and public infrastructure.

Mr Korisa said the damage to gardens was particularly concerning.

"Most people in Vanuatu they are small farmers, subsistence farming so they depend on small plots of gardening as the means of their livelihood. So we have flown to several islands they have noticed that most of their gardening has been damaged."

Peter Korisa said his office had yet to confirm reports that one person was killed during the cyclone and several others seriously injured.

The NDMO director said food, water and shelter were the priorities for the relief effort going forwards.

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