Concerns for children as Vanuatu awaits monster cyclone

Vanuatu is bracing for the most powerful storm to hit the island nation since Cyclone Pam tore across the country back in 2015.

Cyclone Harold is expected to make landfall in the next 24 hours, packing winds in excess of 200km/h, and could reach category five status.

Save the Children teams are monitoring the storm closely and stand ready to support the Government of Vanuatu to respond.

“Cyclone Harold is expected to bring heavy rain, powerful winds and potential storm surge which is particularly dangerous for low-lying coastal communities,” said Save the Children Australia’s Humanitarian Director, Archie Law.

“The cyclone will likely have significant adverse impacts on children, both in terms of their physical and emotional wellbeing.

“Save the Children teams are ready to do whatever is needed to support affected children and families.”

This comes as Vanuatu is in a State of Emergency to prevent the introduction of COVID-19. So far there have been no confirmed cases in the country.

Cyclone Harold formed over the Solomon Islands where it brought heavy rains and flooding in Guadalcanal, Makira and Renne.

Save the Children has a long history responding to emergencies in Vanuatu, including following Cyclone Pam in 2015.

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