Overall Red alert Tropical Cyclone for HAROLD-20
in Tonga, Fiji, Vanuatu

Event summary

Tropical Cyclone HAROLD-20 can have a high humanitarian impact based on the maximum sustained wind speed, exposed population and vulnerability.

GDACS ID TC 1000663
Name HAROLD-20
Glide number: TC-2020-000051-FJI
From - To 02 Apr - 09 Apr
Exposed countries Tonga, Fiji, Vanuatu
Exposed population 260 thousand in Category 1 or higher
Maximum wind speed 269 km/h, Category 5
Maximum storm surge 0.8 m (06 Apr 02:00 UTC)
Vulnerability Medium (Fiji)

GDACS Score

For more info on GDACS alert score click here.
+ Wind Storm surge Rainfall GDACS score
GDACS 269 km/h 0.8 m n.a. 2.5
Single TC: maximum expected impact (wind, storm surge, rainfall)
HWRF 266 km/h 0.9 m 1814 mm 2.5
GFS 317 km/h 0.6 m 1019 mm 2.5
ECMWF 184 km/h 0.7 m 789 mm 0.5
Beta Version - All weather systems in the area: maximum expected impact (wind, storm surge, rainfall)
Maximum expected impact (wind, storm surge and rainfall) using different data sources.
Virtual OSOCC
Meteo assessment
Satellite products
Analytical products
Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga - Tropical Cyclone HAROLD update (ECHO 14 Apr 2020)Tue, 14 Apr 2020 13:01

  • Tropical Cyclone HAROLD passed over Vanuatu, Fiji and Tonga on 6-9 April, leading to casualties and severe damage, particularly over Vanuatu. In Vanuatu, UN OCHA and UNICEF report, as of 13 April, around 108,000 affected people across north and central islands of Espiritu Santo, Maewo, Pentecost, and Ambae, where up to 90 % of the population lost their houses and 60 % of schools as well as 20 % of health centres are  damaged. Many communities remain cut off from assistance due to flooded and damaged roads.
  • In Fiji, media report one fatality occurred in Kandavu Island. UN OCHA and UNICEF also report 1,818 people sheltered in 65 evacuation centres across Central, Western and Eastern Divisions.
  • In Tonga, UN OCHA and UNICEF report 323 people sheltered in 17 evacuation centres, 428 damaged or destroyed houses, as well as public infrastructures and roads damaged across Tongatapu and Eua Islands.
  • The Copernicus EMS was activated in rapid mapping mode (EMSR 434) on 6 April and, in order to support damage assessment in Vanuatu. 3 satellite maps were produced so far.
  • On 9 April the Government of Vanuatu requested in-kind assistance to the European Union via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism (EUCPM). Vanuatu also requested assistance to New Zealand on 8 April.
Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga - Tropical Cyclone HAROLD update (ECHO 09 Apr 2020)Thu, 09 Apr 2020 13:04

  • Tropical Cyclone HAROLD made landfall over Kandavu (Fiji) on 8 April in the morning (UTC), with maximum sustained winds up to 220 km/h and then continued moving south-east over the oceanm passing south of eastern Fiji islands and south of southern Tonga islands slightly weakening. On 9 April at 0.00 UTC its centre was located offshore approximately 225 km south-east of Eua Island, with maximum sustained winds of 205 km/h.
  • In Vanuatu, UN OCHA report, as of 8 April, around 160,000 affected people and up to 70 per cent of buildings damaged in Luganville. Media report, as of 9 April, collapsed houses, damaged roads, power and telecommunication outages across Espiritu Santo, Malo, and Malakula Islands. In Fiji, media report, around 1,800 evacuated people in 69 evacuation centers, a number of injured people, destroyed houses, closed roads as well as power and telecommunication outages across Viti Levu, Kandavu, and southern Lau Islands group. In Tonga, the Prime Minister  declared the State of Emergency, as of 8 April.
  • On the forecast track, HAROLD is forecast to continue moving south-east over the Ocean, well off Tonga islands and weakening, on 9-10 April.
  • Over the next 24 hours, moderate to locally heavy rainfall and thunderstorms are forecast over southern Lau Islands group (Fiji). Moderate to locally heavy rainfall, strong winds and storm surge are forecast also over southern Tonga Islands, where a strong wind warning remain in effect.
  • The Copernicus EMS was activated in rapid mapping mode () on 6 April, in order to support damage assessment and impact assessment.
Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga - Tropical Cyclone HAROLD update (ECHO 08 Apr 2020)Wed, 08 Apr 2020 13:08

  • Tropical Cyclone HAROLD continued to south-east over the Coral Sea toward southern Fiji, slightly weakening. On 8 April, its centre was located offshore approximately 40 km north-west of Kandavu Island (south Fiji) and 110 km south-east of Suva (the capital of Fiji, Viti Levu Island).
  • Media report, as of 8 April, severe damage to buildings in Luganville (the main town of Espiritu Santo). Power and telecommunication outages were reported across Espiritu Santo and Malakula. In Fiji, media report number of people preventively evacuated, damaged houses, closed roads and power outages across Viti Levu, Kandavu, and south Lau Islands.
  • HAROLD is forecast to make landfall over Kandavu on 8 April. Later, it is forecast to continue south-east over the sea and could pass south of southern Tonga on 8-9 April.
  • In the next 24 hours, heavy rain, strong winds and storm surge are forecast over central-south Fiji, and Tongatapu and Eua Islands (Tonga). Moderate rain is forecast over south Vanuatu. In Fiji, several tropical cyclone warnings remain in effect.
  • The Copernicus Emergency Management Service was activated in rapid mapping mode on 6 April, in order to support damage and impact assessment.
Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga - Tropical Cyclone HAROLD update (ECHO 07 Apr 2020)Tue, 07 Apr 2020 13:23

  • Passing over north Vanuatu, Tropical Cyclone HAROLD continued south-east over the Coral Sea towards Fiji, slightly weakening. On 7 April, its centre was located offshore approximately 760 km north-west of Kandavu Island (south of Fiji) and 650 km north-west of the west coast of Viti Levu Island.
  • According to media, as of 7 April, severe damage to buildings, damaged roads, flooding in low-lying areas, and power outages were reported across Espiritu Santo, Malakula, Ambae, Pentecost and Maewo Islands. 
  • HAROLD is forecast to continue  south-east over the sea and to make landfall over Kandavu.
  • Heavy rain, thunderstorms, strong winds and storm surge are forecast over central-north Vanuatu, Fiji and over south Tonga during the coming days. 
  • The Copernicus Emergency Management Service was activated in rapid mapping mode, in order to support damage assessment and impact assessment.

   

Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji - Tropical Cyclone HAROLD update (ECHO 06 Apr 2020)Mon, 06 Apr 2020 13:07

  • Tropical Cyclone HAROLD continued moving south-east over the Coral Sea and made landfall over southwest coast of Espiritu Santo Island (north Vanuatu) on 6 April around 0.00 UTC, with maximum sustained winds up to 215 km/h. On 6 April, in the morning (UTC), its centre was located inland over Espiritu Santo approximately 45 km west of Luganville (town of Vanuatu).
  • Media report, as of 6 April, 7 fatalities and 21 people are still missing across Salomon Islands, after an incident occurred to a passenger ferry in the Solomon Sea due to storm surge. In addition, media report, hundreds of people preventively evacuated across Espiritu Santo.
  • On the forecast track, HAROLD is forecast to continue moving south-east over southern Espiritu Santo, Malo and Pentecost Islands on 6 April in the morning (UTC). Then HAROLD is expected to continue moving south-east over the sea and to pass close to Kandavu Island (south Fiji) on 8 April in the morning.
  • Over the next 24 hours, heavy rain, strong winds and storm surge are forecast over Vanuatu, as well as over Fiji starting from 7 April. 
Solomon Islands, Vanuatu - Tropical Cyclone HAROLD (ECHO 03 Apr 2020)Fri, 03 Apr 2020 13:00

  • A new Tropical Cyclone named HAROLD formed over the Solomon Sea, started moving east toward the Solomon Islands, and made landfall over the San Cristobal Island (south Solomon Islands) on 2 April, as a tropical storm. On 3 April at 0.00 UTC, its centre was located over San Cristobal and approximately 710 km north-west of Espiritu Santo Island (Vanuatu), with maximum sustained winds of 75 km/h (tropical storm).
  • According to media, on 3 April, a number of people are reported missing, following an incident occurred to a passenger ferry in the Solomon Sea between Guadalcanal and Malaita Islands.
  • On the forecast track, HAROLD is forecast to continue moving south-east entering in the Coral Sea, strenghtening and expected to pass very close to Espiritu Santo western coast on 4-5 April and to make landfall over Malakula Island (Vanuatu) on 6 April in the morning (UTC).
  • Over the next 24 hours, heavy rain, strong winds and storm surge are forecast over central-south Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. 
Detailed event map. European Union, 2015. Map produced by EC-JRC.
The boundaries and the names shown on this map do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by the European Union.

Updates on volcanic activity (Smithsonian)

Latest media headlines

Articles: 120 | About casualties: 2 | Last hour: 0

samoa STC Harold southeast of Tonga By Sapeer Mayron, 10/04/2020Fri, 10 Apr 2020 06:01:00 +0200.

Severe Tropical Cyclone Harold, which has already ravaged Fiji, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands is southeast of Tonga as of midday on Friday, the Samoa Meteorological Service reports. Its presence means fresh heavy winds over the area, resu
...(more)
Australian Defence Force plane to deliver relief to Vanuatu in the wak ... Fri, 10 Apr 2020 05:36:00 +0200.

The week-long storm has destroyed homes, cut off power and killed dozens in four Pacific island countries. Local disaster teams in Vanuatu hope to reach some of the worst-affected areas today. Glen Craig from the Vanuatu Business Resilience
...(more)
Australian Defence Force plane to deliver relief to Vanuatu in the wak ... Fri, 10 Apr 2020 05:26:00 +0200.

The week-long storm has destroyed homes, cut off power and killed dozens in four Pacific island countries. Local disaster teams in Vanuatu hope to reach some of the worst-affected areas today. Glen Craig from the Vanuatu Business Resilience
...(more)
'It's all gone': Cyclone Harold cuts a deadly path through VanuatuFri, 10 Apr 2020 00:51:00 +0200.

T he once-lush forest cover of the island of Malo has been completely denuded. Nearly every tree lost major limbs. Many were snapped at the trunk. Even cyclone-adapted coconut trees were strewn about like matchsticks. Schools and homes were
...(more)

Estimated casualties (PAGER)

USGS estimates the number of casualties for each earthquake for the Prompt Assessment of Global Earthquakes for Response (PAGER) product.
The graph shows the current fatalities estimate.

Exposed population

Data, images, links, services and documents

For this events, GDACS has links to information from the following sources: EMSR (2), UNOSAT (1), JRC (35), (1), WMO (1), INFORM (2),