Ambae Island

Ambaeans told not to go back to their island

The state of emergency on Ambae was lifted on Monday but the Manaro volcano remains at alert level two on the five stage scale.

A government press release said people should not go back to the island and that chiefs of Ambae would be held responsible for members of their communities that returned.

Ambaeans should concentrate their efforts on building a second home on a neighbouring island, it said.

Government workers will not be sent back to Ambae because their safety cannot be guaranteed.

Ambae evacuees wait for permission to return

About 10,000 Ambaeans were evacuated from the island about four months ago due to volcanic activity and have been living on neighbouring islands, including Santo and Maewo.

RNZ Pacific understands the Vanuatu Council of Ministers will meet today to decide whether to send Ambaeans back to the island.

The government's state of emergency has ended however, the island might not be safe for occupation.

The Manaro volcano on Ambae remains at alert level two, which means an eruption is possible.

Vanuatu's Ambae Island completely evacuated

The director general of the climate change ministry, which is responsible for disaster management, says all the island's 10,000 residents are now on Maewo or Santo.

The order to abandon the island came from the government a month ago, after the eruption from the island's volcano re-intensified, blanketing the island in ash and toxic fumes.

Jesse Benjamin said the government had evacuated more than 3000 people to Santo, and 2,600 people are now on Maewo.

Mr Benjamin said the rest of the people evacuated themselves.


Vanuatu Red Cross helps in evacuation progress

Vanuatu Red Cross Society says soon it will deploy its teams of staff and Volunteers to Maewo, to assist the displaced families from Ambae by building additional shelters.

“The VRCS proposed plan puts emphasis on Shelter, and our emergency response plan is to build additional shelters by using tarpaulins that were already distributed to beneficiaries; also  we will be doing awareness on shelter  ” said Augustin Garae – Disaster Management Coordinator at Vanuatu Red Cross.

Vanuatu Pentecost buy water by the bucket

Parts of both Vanuatu islands have been blanketed in ash from the latest eruption of the Manaro volcano on Ambae.

The government has a mandatory evacuation of the Ambaeans to Maewo, though some are choosing, at their own expense, to go to Santo or Port Vila.

Our Vanuatu correspondent Godwin Ligo, who works with the Daily Post, said water sources are all polluted with ash but in most villages there are households that have substantial water tanks and they are now selling their water.

Warning for Ambae people moving to Santo

The government has ordered the mandatory evacuation of Ambae, where crops have been smothered and water supplies contaminated.

The government has reached an agreement with the nearby island of Maewo, where chiefs have agreed to accept the Ambaeans and set aside land.

But many Ambaeans want to go to Santo, the country's biggest island

The prime minister has said Ambaeans who wish to move to Santo or another island can do so but at their own cost.

Vanuatu Red Cross gets survival kits to Ambae volcano victims

The island has been suffering the effects of a volcanic eruption that began in September last year and intensified earlier this month.

The government decided at the weekend everyone on the island would have to move to neighbouring Maewo.

But the Ambaeans are reportedly reluctant to go there and instead want to be moved to Santo.

In the meantime the Red Cross' Dickinson Tevi said the charity had been continuing to give aid to the many who have been displaced.

Heavy ash fall after Ambae volcano's latest eruption

One resident, Marsden Philip Vuvu, said there was a thick fine ash on his veranda and it got so dark at four in the afternoon that people were forced to use torches.

He said people were also using umbrellas to keep the ash off them.

The Penama Province Disaster Officer, Mansen Tari, has confirmed the latest ash fall saying the rumbling noise of the eruption can be heard at Penama Provincial Headquarters at Saratamata on the coast, more than 30 kilometres away.

Mixed feelings on Ambae as permanent evacuation considered

Heavy ashfall from the volcano last month covered parts of the island collapsing buildings, contaminating water supplies and killing off food crops.

Thousands of people have been relocated to safer parts on the island but the Vanuatu Council of Ministers is considering permanently evacuating Ambae.

New Zealand volcanologist, Brad Scott has been supporting the Vanuatu Geohazards Department to monitor the eruption.

Mr Scott was on Ambae last week and said there were mixed reactions to the proposed evacuation.

Australia gives further Humanitarian assistance to Vanuatu

Australia is providing $300,000 to support the evacuation of Ambae Island, with a particular focus on the needs of women, children and people with disabilities.

A statement said Australia will provide emergency supplies including shelter tool kits, hygiene kits and tents to assist people who need to move to temporary relocation sites.

“We will also provide essential reproductive health care, including birthing kits and emergency obstetric and newborn care.”