Vanuatu is a Y-shaped chain of islands that consists of about 83 islands with a total land area of 12,336 square kilometers. The four largest islands are Espiritu Santo (3677sq km), Malekula (2023 sq km), Erromango (975sq km) and Efate (915 sq km). Efate is the main island of Vanuatu, where the capital Port Vila is situated. Vanuatu has six provinces: Torba, Sanma, Penama, Malampa, Shefa and Tafea. The total population of Vanuatu is approximately 272,000. The population of the capital, Port Vila, is approximately 44,000.
Port Vila is the largest town in the Shefa province on the island of Efate. Luganville is the second largest city located in the Sanma province on the island of Espiritu Santo. Vanuatu has several active volcanoes both on land and undersea, leading to the threat of earthquake and tsunami.
Category 5 Tropical Cyclone Pam hit Vanuatu on 14 March 2015 with winds of up to 250 kilometres per hour, and gusts up to 350 kilometres per hour, causing widespread devastation across the country. At the request of the Government, the ETC responded to Cyclone Pam with services and ICT coordination assistance. The ETC provided data communications for the humanitarian operation at 7 sites in the country. Three months after Cyclone Pam hit Vanuatu, the ETC concluded its mission in June 2015.
In 2016, the National Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (NETC) was established in Vanuatu as a national coordination mechanism for emergency telecommunications in Vanuatu. The lead of the NETC is the Office of the Government CIO.
The ETC is focussed on preparedness activities in Vanuatu and nearby Pacific Island countries under its Pacific Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR) project, lead by WFP.