Understanding natural phenomena, ensuring that pre-trip planning takes into account risk assessment, and implementing adequate measures to minimise foreseeable impacts are critical elements to successful travel. Travelling when Thunderstorm activity is high, or when Tropical Cyclones become more prevalent requires travellers to have a much greater knowledge of how these natural phenomena occur. Unfortunately, travellers generally possess a nonchalant attitude towards extreme storms, one that changes dramatically once caught for days on end in one. This article attempts an in-depth explanation of the physical processes associated with Thunderstorms and Tropical Cyclones, and is intended to provide critical background for travellers, when travelling during extreme weather.
Melanesia lies in a global region which is subjected to cyclones, earthquakes, and El Nino events. It is notable that in post-disaster situations, almost everything that is needed has to be imported and paid for with hard cash. Recovery may take years and it is important that the micro-economic environment of islands are stimulated quickly. The role of the tourism industry in re-establishing income for communities was a notable phenomenon in some communities subsequent to cyclone Pam. Income from tourism operations flow throughout small communities, enabling people to re-establish their lives. As long as infrastructure is intact and industry systems are workable, travellers can and will come back to authentic locations. Robust tourist accommodation is critically important for tourism to be able to fulfil this undertaking. es.
Tourism Toolboxes provide a pathway for small communities to attain human development on their own terms, where they are able to maintain and control their own cultural identity. The concept surrounds initially imparting knowledge to local communities so that they are more able to provide hospitality and tourism facilities to visitors. The Tourism Toolboxes themselves consist of one off asset developments that are financed by social loans which included within the communities developed business plan. They are only considered once communities have shown a capability to progress with their tourism initiatives.
Changing global mobility has seen unprecedented tourism, and consequent pressure on renowned destinations such as New York, Barcelona, Los Angeles, and Rome. In popular destinations, homelessness has been aggravated by the pressure on accommodation by tourists. For travellers in America, it seems that “the homeless” are a part of American identity and there is a perception that living on the street is accepted, and “normalised”. Nowhere is this more apparent than San-Francisco, but it doesn’t take many walks about the city, observing the homeless playing informal chess tournaments, listening to blues and jazz music, or reading classic literature, to realize that homelessness doesn’t always result from a set of simple circumstances. While travel provides a very hands-off situation that requires no moral or ethical thought on our own part, the reality of coming face to face with the homeless in real life poses something completely different.
Is climate change actually a “thing” or is it fake news. The trouble is that the further we are removed from where impacts are felt, the less relevant they seem. For some, it’s even a bit of a yawn. However, Cyclones, Hurricanes, and Typhoons are becoming more of a reality, and affecting, more people in the world than ever before. The effects of climate change are becoming harder to ignore. Understanding what is happening to Pacific people, can help us understand what is to come our way in the future.
Natural Disasters : Is it Callous Indifference, or Hopeless Impotence ? Reflections of Disaster Relief in a Small Island State.
Natural Disasters are becoming more common in Oceania, and have caused major destruction on many remote islands. Pacific Island nations are not sufficiency resourced to build resilience within their communities. So what has happened on Tanna Island since Cyclone Pam caused such widespread damage in 2015 ? Did Vanuatu’s natural disaster mechanism work ?; and what are the short-term and long-term ‘needs’ of island peoples after such a disaster. This article discusses the case of Tanna Island after Cyclone Pam struck.
Our failure as a global society to provide any substantial headway after natural disasters is a tale of repeating lessons to be learnt. Do we as a society show a callous disregard and indifference to our fellow humans in the face of our own lives, or are we bombarded by so much media ‘news-bites’ that we have become hopelessly impotent. History seems to indicate that our performance is wanting, and while we want to know about the societies that we visit, we do little to help in times of adversity.
Are we listening now ? It seems that humanity has inbuilt mechanisms to become desensitized to the full impacts of such natural disasters. We simply remove any consideration of ongoing effects from our consciousness. Now, after so many cyclones in a row, who was affected by Cyclone Pam ?, or Cyclone Winstone ? Written in the hours before Cyclone Winstone was due to hit Tanna Island, almost one year after Cyclone Pam, it is both a reflection and a contemplation of the future for Tanna.
We all assume that disaster response springs into action after a disaster and that aid gets through to those in need within a reasonable space of time. The critical point is that often major delays ensue, distribution is fragmented, and people in need suffer. While some regions receive aid expeditiously, others suffer for many weeks on end. If you are travelling to a Disaster Zone in the near future, think about taking a Food Package – It will be greatly appreciated. Better still, just take enough clothes and personal effects to fill your hand luggage and take a full food package as your main luggage.
Cyclone Pam passed over Vanuatu almost three years ago to the day (12-14th March 2015) it is relevant to look again at the Cyclone that commenced the present onslaught of Pacific mega-cyclones. Its impact is still being felt strongly in the islands that it desolated, and a full recovery will not occur until some years into the future. What happens when the next Cyclone impacts these islands ? Cyclone Pam was the first of the Pacific “mega-cyclones” and at the time it was considered to be one of those rare freak catastrophes that hit only once in a thousand years. Since then there has been at least one Category 5 “mega-cyclone” in the Pacific every year since.
When experiencing massive natural calamities, I think there is a threshold that occurs, when things start to break around you, strong things such as trees that have been around for a hundred years or more. When homes disintegrate, and flying debri fills the air, there is a realisation that no one is safe, and whether you survive or not is purely a matter of luck. The South Pacific’s new reality | Mega-Cyclones.
The design & construction of ‘Resilient Buildings’ in the Pacific is extremely difficult, but imperative to provide some surety of shelter for Island peoples. Power, water and a skilled workforce are basic assumptions on any construction project. So how do you organize construction, when basic resources are not available, skilled labour extremely limited, materials may or may not be obtainable, and in any case transport to remote sites impossible. Struggling to move ahead under such conditions is fraught with delays, shortages and often concessions are made out of necessity, which ultimately compromises the integrity of the end result.