Update #2 on Vanuatu for SBTF members and call for volunteers

This is an update on the situation as we understand it with regards to Vanuatu, an assessment of the likelihood of an activation, and a call for volunteers to help with planning and preparation.

The situation at 1900 UTC 15 March 2015

Vanuatu (population 264,700) was hit by a Cat 5 storm (Pam) on 13 March 2015.

Peter Walton, head of international programs for the Red Cross in Vanuatu reports that the humanitarian needs are enormous. Shelter, food and water are urgent priorities right now. (Humanity Road has a detailed sitrep http://humanityroad.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/20150315_Humanity_Road_Sitrep2-Vanuatu.pdf)

Humanitarian OpenStreetMap team has initiated two mapping tasks for the area tracked by Pam http://tasks.hotosm.org/project/943 and http://tasks.hotosm.org/project/944

There is concern for the southern-most islands of Tafea Province (total population 32,540), which was directly struck by the eye wall and is without communication. The northern islands of Sanma, Penama and Torba Provinces (population 86,000) are also expected to have been heavily impacted as the cyclone headed south-southwest towards the capital. Communication was cut for many hours but some phone lines and internet access are becoming available. http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/OCHA_VUT_TCPam_Sitrep1_20150310.pdf

Call for Standby Task Force volunteers

The Standby Task Force has not yet been activated.

We do, however, need some support from the network. Please help if you can.

There are advance tasks that Jus has been working on. We really need some volunteers to help with these.

They include

  • Collecting all photos, uploading to map for visual reference of situation
  • Monitoring and cleaning data from AIDR, pulling information from the csv from AIDR to respond to specific questions from organisations
  • Search the Internet for incidents, e.g. reports, maps, contact lists that will help us (and partners) keep up to date with the evolving situation
  • We also need volunteers to improve the accuracy of our photomap now that the basemap has been updated

I’ve you are able to volunteer with any of these tasks starting immediately and over the next 24-48 hours, please add your details to this Google Doc http://goo.gl/GjVwym

Any questions, contact Jus or Stuart from the core team.

Jus is     jus@standbytaskforce.com skype: fidget01

Stuart is stuart@standbytaskforce.com skype: stuart.costello5

Or just ask in the general skype chat room.

Likelihood of activation

We now think it is very likely that we will receive an activation request over the next 24 hrs. This is likely to be a very significant activation and we will need as many volunteers as possible. If there is anything you can do to free up time over the coming week, we’d really appreciate it.

We have a published set of activation criteria. http://standbytaskforce.org/about-2/activation-criteria/

Please continue to keep an eye on your emails, the Ning, Facebook and the main Skype chat and be ready to volunteer.

We’ll keep you informed as the situation develops.

Keep in touch

If you’ve got any questions, comments, suggestions then drop me or anyone in the core team an email or ask in the SBTF general chat room on Skype.
ben@standbytaskforce.com or coreteam@standbytaskforce.com

Thanks, and I know we all keep the people of Vanuatu in our thoughts and hearts

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