Following info is sent by Ron YJ8RN and passed onto Geoff ZL3GA. We publish in full.
I have had Wed, Thu and Fri on Tanna Island getting HF radio for Air Vanuatu and Red Cross/Police going. Then up to Espiritu Santo to get Air Vanuatu going there too. Had to do a couple of temporary fixes on Tanna to get radios working so will probably be down there for another couple of days as now I have a better idea of what is required radio wise.
Tanna and the island immediately north, Erromango, seem to have been the ones to have the worst damage. Vila is bad, but there are still trees with green leaf on them. Tanna has no green leaf on any tree except coconuts. The whole island is brown from dead leaf. Virtually all trees lost some branches and many were completely felled. Most of the roads had been cleared and local transport was working OK. The problem for the next 2 to 6 months will be food, as salvageable food will run out next week and it will take 6 weeks for fast growing things like cabbage to be ready to eat. The staples like manioc and taro need about 6 to 9 months to have a usable product. Water is the other problem. Many tanks were damaged and water supply systems washed away.
There are now about 6 helicopters and many ships starting to deliver emergency aid. I have had contact from an acquaintance in Melbourne who wants to send over aid. I am in the middle of writing up a document for him and will copy it to you. The assistance you can give (outside of cash to reputable Aid Organisations) will be in the rebuilding of infrastructure. Mainly housing and water supplies.
Have a heap of stuff to get caught up. I will be dropping the 40m antenna to copy its length for Red Cross on 7640, so will see if I can find the 20/40 dipole I did a while ago and hang that at the same time. So I may be calling tonight. Only 100 W to a dipole so hope it makes it.
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