earthquake – oct. 20th 2012
M6.2 – 108km WNW of Sola, Vanuatu 2012-10-20 23:00:32 UTC
Vanuatu is subject to a range of natural disasters. Cyclone season in Vanuatu is from November to April, however, severe tropical storms may occur in other months.
Earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions also occur. Vanuatu authorities monitor the activity of the volcanos visited by tourists and provide advice on the level of risk. Alert levels and accessibility to the volcanoes can change quickly so you should always check with local authorities for the latest advice prior to travelling to volcanic areas. See the Natural Disasters section below for more detailed advice.
from australia department of foreign affairs and trade, travel advice for vanuatu
i have a love/hate thing goin on with this entry.
it gets something like 20 percent of all the traffic here at end times news. mostly because of the map image, which often turns up on image searches in google. i can see why – i used it because of its mappy awesomeness.
at the time i first posted the image, in a brief article about an earthquake (post-fukushima, i was paying much attention to earthquakes in the pacific rim), i was happy to have the traffic, because i’d posted the aticle within an hour of the quake, so i had “scooped” the professional media in the u.s.
i attempted to update the story, but there wasn’t much follow-up.
anyway…i try to update this a few times per month…enjoy…
Malekula is inhabited by two tribes, the Big Nambas in the north and the Small Nambas in the south, the name stemming from the size of the penis sheaths made from pandanus or banana leaves they wear.
It’s a fascinating place where black magic still exists – though not as strongly as on neighbouring Ambrym Island – and tradition still rules. The missionaries put clothes on the people but the chiefs will tell you custom is as important as church.
This isn’t, however, my destination. I’m heading for the even more remote Maskelyne Islands, a remote cluster of low lying tiny islands off the southern tip of Malekula.
After my truck ride the final leg is a 55-minute voyage in an aluminium boat with a 30hp Mercury engine, a great luxury in an area where most people get around in wooden dugout outrigger canoes, many of which we pass along the way.
Finally we arrive at Peskarus Village where Nina and her family are our hosts. She’s crouching on the dirt floor, stoking her tiny fire, cooking coconut milk mud crab in pots sitting on two iron rods supported by stones.
We are welcomed by the brightest, shyest smiles but it doesn’t take long before we are laughing and playing with her children Masel, Anna, Solomon and Cristova.
Soon we are helping prepare food, fetching water from the well and absorbing ourselves in village life.
Four-year-old Solomon is delighted to share his joke with us in English: “Knock Knock.” “Who’s there?” “Amos.” “Amos who?” “A mosquito!” He squeals with laughter and we hear the joke another 10 times each day.
Nina’s kitchen has split bamboo walls, charred black in parts, with a mangrove branch framework and a thatched roof, and it is the family hub.
The Ni-Vanuatu have twice been voted the World’s Happiest Nation by the United Nations and it’s easy to see why as we share laughter over the smallest things.
A particular source of amusement is our effort to learn a little of the endearing Bislama language (pidgin English). But I do succeed in saying “Me fulap tumas, Nina” as she tries to offer more food. It basically translates as “I am full thank you”.
The village is timeless and pretty, houses linked by smoothed pathways lined with colourful foliage, and full of happy people only too willing to talk with strangers. We find ourselves chatting with women sitting under shady trees to weave their mats. We become accustomed to the chatter of voices, the thunder of the sea on the distant reef, the eruptions of laughter and the daily chorus of roosters.
The interior of the island is jungle scattered with pig pens and a few gardens. The main gardening area is another island, Sakao, which has no inhabitants and especially no pigs or chooks. Every afternoon families arrive at Peskarus in canoes laden with produce from Sakao.
Imported supplies are not cheap nor are they easily accessible. Once a month a cargo ship anchors outside the reef and if the sea conditions allow, the villagers canoe out to bring in supplies.
There are a few shops in each village though they’re hard to spot. We meet Karlo Phillip who owns one, he’s standing under a tree with a cellphone in his hand and his family are laughing at his wife May who is terrified at the snake video he shows her on his new phone. It’s obvious technology is very recent.
Conditions are tough, there is no electricity and global warming is threatening the island. Nina tells us last year’s spring tides came dangerously close to her bungalows.
But Nina’s family, like the others on the island, functions pretty much like any other family around the world – except they do without the luxuries and technology we take for granted and they have more smiles and sparkling eyes than I’ve seen in any family from the developed world.
We shed tears when we leave because the people are a delight … and because Nina and her family have become our friends.
- More about Ambrym volcano
With the world rocked by economic turmoil, Dateline explores an alternative financial system that’s secure, stable and has stood the test of time.
Officially Vanuatu is one of the world’s ‘least developed countries’, but this is misleading. 80% of the population have almost no need for cash at all – they live on their own land and grow, fish and hunt for their food.
When they do need money, they simply make their own – traditional currencies like woven mats and pigs with tusks can be used to pay school fees and medical bills.
On the island of Pentecost there’s even a traditional bank that accepts deposits of pig tusks and claims to have reserves of $1.4 billion.
WATCH - See Amos’s insight into life on Vanuatu.
On March 20th, 2012, WPCS International Inc. (Xton, Pennsylvania, U.S.), which offers design-build engineering services for communications and energy infrastructure, announced that it has been selected by the Republic of Vanuatu to design and deploy 40 kilowatt (kW) solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays for the island of Espiritu Santo.
The Republic of Vanuatu received funding from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for the PV project, which will be racked, mounted and connected to the electrical utility grid.
The Republic of Vanuatu is an island nation in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago is located about 1,000 miles east of Brisbane, Australia and south of the Solomon Islands. The island of Espiritu Santo is the largest island in the Republic of Vanuatu.
PV project to be managed by WPCS through its Australian operations
“We are pleased to be selected by the Republic of Vanuatu and the Asian Development Bank for this renewable energy project. Being one of the first such projects on the island of Espiritu Santo, it is important that we provide our highest level of design-build engineering capability to ensure a successful project outcome,” WPCS Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Andrew Hidalgo said.
ISLAND NATIONS UNDER THREAT
Island nations under threat include Bermuda and the Bahamas in the Atlantic, the Pacific Islands of Palmerston, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Vanuatu, Marshall Islands, Cook Islands, Fiji, Solomon Islands, and the Maldives in the Indian Ocean. However, in terms of numbers of persons impacted, the oceanic islands pale in comparison with the slow-motion disasters that will occur in densely populated, low-lying coastal cities like New Orleans, New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Amsterdam, Mumbai, Shanghai, Singapore, Jakarta and Dhaka. Huge populations of several Asian countries will be forced to retreat from coasts, creating generations of “Greenhouse Refugees.” In the Western World, Greater Miami and the southeast Florida coastline has the dubious distinction of being among the most defenseless regions of high population density. A rise of 1.5 m would sever the Miami megapolis from the mainland and flood much of the Florida peninsula. Imagine, a century or two from now, a 100 km-long offshore “artificial reef” composed of crumbling high-rise apartments and freeway overpasses.
here’s the original entry:
It said the quake, which struck at 3:55 a.m. on Sunday (12:55 p.m. EDT on Saturday), was centered 38 miles southwest of the town of Port-Vila and was quite shallow, at a depth of 25.2 miles.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said the major quake had not triggered a Pacific-wide tsunami but said: “Earthquakes of this size sometimes generate local tsunamis that can be destructive along coasts located within a hundred kilometers (80 miles) of the earthquake epicenter.”