The Pacific cities are to varying degrees vulnerable to severe damage as a result of the extreme winds associated with tropical cyclones. A recent example is the damage caused to Vanuatu by tropical cyclone Uma in 1987. This was a severe storm, which passed close to the main island, Efate (Vanuatu), and caused damage estimated at A$150 Million.
Modelled field of wind speed associated with Tropical Cyclone Uma at its closest point of approach to Efate.
Damage caused by Tropical cyclone Uma
Track of Tropical cyclone Uma
SOPAC commissioned GEMMS to develop a model for quantifying the risk to major Pacific cities presented by tropical cyclone wind storm. This includes, in particular the city of Port Vila.
It is intended that the project should be extended to other Pacific cities in the future. It is also intended that the results be developed in conjunction with a major study of cyclone generated storm surge funded by AUSAID and which was completed recently.