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Vanuatu volcanic activity prompts mass evacuation

29 September 2017

Posted in: Pacific Radio News,

By Ruci Farrell -

Villagers on the Vanuatu Island of Ambae have no idea about what's happening in Lake Manaro, says meteorological officer on Ambae Island. 

Prime Minister Charlot Salwa has ordered an evacuation on Ambae to be done by October 6. 

Residents of Ambae Island evacuating. Photo/ Twitter: Dan McGarry.

Meteorological officer David Tari, says the volcanic alerts were a category four yesterday and villagers closest to the crater have been evacuated.

"The ash has fallen on the southern and western part of the island... there’s no people up there the place has been deserted right now," he says. "We haven’t got any idea of what is going on up there."

Up to 7000 villagers have been evacuated already and Tari says the procedures are better co-ordinated than it was the last time volcanic activity posed a threat in 2005. 

"We had the same situation in 2005. At that time the information was not as comprehensive as it is now."

New Zealand has sent aid and scientists to help.

Vanuatu Prime Minister orders mass evacuation on Ambae island. Photo/ Twitter: Dan McGarry.

Tags: environment, Vanuatu,