Tropical Cyclone Harold hit the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu on Monday after sweeping through the Solomon Islands last week, leaving 27 dead after they were washed from a ferry that ignored weather warnings. The cyclone, which made landfall on Vanuatu’s largest island, Espiritu Santo, in the morning, brought winds of up to 235 kph (145 mph) as it headed for the country’s second-largest town, Luganville, home to 16,500 people. Local media have reported that the council building in the town has already been knocked down by the storm. The superstorm, classed as category five — the highest rating —, is expected to pass north of the capital, Port Vila, early on Tuesday. Read more: Why Vanuatu is the world’s most at-risk country for natural disasters Officials have warned of flash flooding in the nation of 300,000, which was devastated by Cyclone Pam, another category-five storm, in 2015. Pam was estimated by the World Bank to have wiped out almost two-thirds of Vanuatu’s economic capacity. Coronavirus outbreak feared Fears are also rife that a relief operation like the one needed after Pam risks bringing the novel coronavirus to the country, which lacks the necessary health infrastructure to cope with such… Read full this story
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