13 Mar 2018

Prioritising aid a challenge in post-cyclone Vanuatu

7:10 am on 13 March 2018

Disaster authorities in Vanuatu say prioritising which communities to give aid to is proving a challenge after Cyclone Hola.

An aerial survey of affected areas conducted on Sunday showed widespread damage to food gardens, homes and infrastructure.

But the operations manager of the Vanuatu National Disaster Management Office, Peter Korisa, said the way in which Hola impacted the islands made it difficult to coordinate the relief effort.

"The impact is quite unique because within an island it only covers several locations. It did not cover the whole island," he said.

"Lets say with one island you will notice that from the southern part of the island or from the central part of the island it is affected and the other part is not affected."

"So it is quite difficult for us to, you know we need to prioritise only the affected areas."

Peter Korisa said for those affected, food water and shelter are the priority concerns.

He said there is also some difficulty reopening transport networks on the islands as a lot of large trees brought down by the cyclone had blocked roads.