Crops, homes destroyed

NDMO says cyclone Oma has caused extensive damage to gardens in Torba (pictured) and Sanma. Photo: Vanuatu Red Cross Society

Tropical Cyclone Oma has destroyed some homes and gardens in Torba and Sanma Provinces.

The National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) said the cyclone has also caused flash flooding in some areas.

According to information received by NDMO from communities in Torba, the destructive winds from TC Oma has caused extensive damage to gardens and the roofs of the buildings that were not firmly secured were blown off.

In Sanma Province, a river in west coast Santo has burst its banks following the heavy rain and damaged roads as well as washing away gardens of taro.

Approximately 76 households have gardens there. As such NDMO said this community is expecting to face an immediate food shortage.

The NDMO said the Vanuatu Mobile Force (VMF) personnel on the ground had informed evacuees on Santo and Ambrym about the cyclone and identified safe houses in case of emergency.

NDMO has been trying to establish contact with the affected provinces since the development of the tropical cyclone.

The Torba, Sanma and Malampa Provincial Emergency Operation Centre (PEOC) has been activated and the partners and cluster groups are on standby to respond should it be required.

Schools throughout these provinces have closed since Wednesday when the cyclone was upgraded to category 2.

As of yesterday, TC Oma was positioned at 11km west northwest of Santo and 210km west southwest of Banks.

Destructive winds and swells will continue to affect communities until the cyclone moves away from Vanuatu.

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