Vanuatu provincial capital moves due to volcano

Vanuatu's Penama Province is planning to move its capital due to the ongoing Manaro volcanic eruption on Ambae.

The Penama Council agreed to relocate its headquarters from Saatamaa in Eastern Ambae to Loltong in North Pentecost because of disruption from the natural disaster.

The Daily Post reported the advantage of the new site was that it is already public land.

The Penama Province is one of six in Vanuatu and included the three islands of Ambae, Maewo and Pentecost.

The volcano on Ambae has been erupting since September, but activity increased in April with ash and acid rain ruining crops and contaminating water supplies.

The government is assisting with the relocation of affected Ambae residents to nearby Maewo.

Earlier this week the Geohazards Department said the Ambae volcanic activity had become more stable and it lowered the alert level from three to two.