TC Harold


Summary of TC Harold

Only five years after the devastation caused by Tropical Cyclone (TC) Pam, Vanuatu was hit again by a category 5 cyclone. Between April 6 and 7, 2020, TC Harold tore across the northern and central islands of Vanuatu with sustained winds up to 270km per hour.

It took lives, destroyed houses, food gardens, businesses and infrastructure, leaving enduring scars on families, communities and the nation. The compound nature of TC Harold and COVID-19 intensified the scale, and broadened the scope, of the human, social, economic and environmental impacts.

Swift lockdown of international borders provided a precious window to prepare on the health side, but restrictions had negative repercussions on the economic activity and hindered the humanitarian response.

The Vanuatu’ TC Harold and COVID-19 Post Disaster Needs Assessment estimates that the monetary value of the disaster effects, which includes physical damage and economic losses, as a consequence of the disasters is VUV 68 billion (USD $617 million). This corresponds approximately to 61 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2020