November 11, 2020 Credit: CC0 Public Domain Vanuatu reported its first COVID-19 case Wednesday, ending the Pacific island nation's status as one of the few remaining virus-free countries in the world. NZ Herald. The Vanuatu government declared a state of emergency on March 26 over the coronavirus panedemic, stopping flights in and out of the country. Cyclone Harold destroyed many homes in Vanuatu’s Sanma province and damaged schools and health centres, says UN. The cyclone hit Espiritu Santo on Monday then moved southeast over the island of Pentecost hours later. The Vanuatu meteorology and geo-hazards department had warned the storm would bring hurricane-force winds with heavy rainfalls and flash flooding over low-lying areas of the islands. • April 5, 2020. Early photos from parts of the island show flattened homes and damaged crops. An average Atlantic hurricane season features 12 tropical storms, 6 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes, and features an Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) count of 106. Cyclone Harold battering Vanuatu, a South Pacific Ocean nation, has been recorded as the most powerful weather event so far this year, according to a climate NGO on Tuesday. Reiterating the role of climate change in the extreme weather events, Christopher Bartlett, an independent climate expert in Vanuatu, highlighted that the cyclone is an outcome of the crime of climate change perpetrated against the Vanuatuan people by fossil fuel companies and the countries that support those corporations. Super cyclone Yasa slammed into Fiji's second-largest island Thursday, tearing roofs off buildings as it triggered flash floods and landslides in the Pacific island nation. winds 15 December 06:00 UTC 157 km/h sust. "The Pacific Islands are situated in a region with a multitude of natural disasters, which are becoming increasingly frequent and with far more devastating impacts as a direct result of increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere," he added. The storm blows through Luganville, Vanuatu on Monday. The cyclone, which formed off … Cyclone Harold a category 5 cyclone tracked across the southern-tip of Vanuatu with wind speeds of over 130mph. Tropical Cyclone Yasa is a Category 1 storm, which is expected to strengthen to a Category 3 within the next two days. Harold strengthened even further during the day, with winds increasing up to 270 kph and gusts peaking over 300 kph. ANKARA . Pacific nations, which also faces COVID-19 outbreak impacts, now have to prepare for Cyclone Harold, exacerbated by the climate change which is a crisis that is not caused by Pacific countries, it stressed in the statement. In response, the European Union (EU) is releasing € 300,000 in humanitarian assistance to address water, sanitation and hygiene, shelter, food security and protection needs, which will be delivered by the International Non-Governmental Organisation CARE. He warned Cyclone Harold could affect more islands than the category five Cyclone Pam in … Super cyclone Yasa flattened entire villages as it tore through Fiji, aid agencies said Friday, with a baby among two confirmed deaths and rescue workers racing to the worst-hit communities. On Monday, the tiny Pacific island country of Vanuatu was rocked by Cyclone Harold, the second category-5 storm to hit the nation in five years. Tropical Cyclone Harold packed winds of up to 250 kilometers per hour and was approaching the strength of a Category 5 hurricane, making it the strongest storm to hit. It said vessels were "strongly advised not to go out to sea.". — Australian High Commission in Vanuatu (@AusHCVanuatu) April 5, 2020. 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