Ambae Island

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.” 

Kiwi aid worth $2.5m arrives in Vanuatu to help residents fleeing volcano

The volcano started spewing ash and smoke last September but authorities agree a longer-term solution for the islanders is now needed.

The latest aid drop came on HMNZS Canterbury and amounts to $2.5 million pledged by the New Zealand government.

Tool kids, hygiene kits and tarpaulins are among the supplies sent.

A massive evacuation of Ambae Island is underway, with several hundred people having already self-evacuated themselves off the island. 


Photo by NZ HC 


Multiple land offers for Ambae's volcano evacuees

The Manaro Voui crater on Mount Lombenben which began erupting in September last year, prompting a short term evacuation, intensified last month, forcing the government to announce a state of emergency.

The minister, Andrew Napuat, said Ambae's population of about 11,000 people were being encouraged to leave the island voluntarily.

A request for land for the islanders had prompted a good response from neighbouring islands, like Santo, Maewo and Pentecost, Mr Napuat said.

Ambae evacuation could cost millions

Ambae's Manoro Voui volcano on Mt Lombenbe erupted in September last year prompting the island's evacuation.

Volcanic activity re-intensified several weeks ago and preparations are underway for another evacuation.

Director General of Disaster Management Jesse Benjamin said a second evacuation, which could cost $US1.8 m, would be an orderly and structured process, unlike last year.

The Daily Post reported the government might seek the assistance of donor countries, like Australia and New Zealand, to help with transport.

Frustration and hunger mount as eruption continues on Vanuatu’s Ambae

The layer of ash in William Bice's village is some 20 to 30 centimetres thick. It's smothered plant life, it's weight has collapsed some roofs, and the stream that supplies their water has turned into a thick ash-laden sludge.

"It looks like a desert," he said.

Father Bice, a local Anglican priest, said the village in the north of Ambae lived off the crops it grew, which are now dead, and its only income came from a small stash of kava, which has also been smothered.

Police deployed to Vanuatu's Ambae ahead of mass evacuation

A state of emergency has been declared on the island, with the volcano at the island's centre continuing to erupt, blanketing much of the island in ash.

The government announced last week that a mass evacuation would again take place, with people from the islands north, west and south being moved to the far east coast or nearby smaller islands.

A spokesperson for the National Disaster Management Office, Presley Tari, said food supplies are being distributed by the provincial government, and the patrol boat is leaving Port Vila today.

Talks to firm plans for another Vanuatu evacuation

Ambae's Mt Lombenben first erupted in September prompting a mass evacuation of the 11,000 people living there.

Many returned after a month but renewed activity in recent weeks as prompted the government to issue a state of emergency and plan for another evacuation.

The government is speaking with landowners on Maewo and Pentecost about the provision of land where Ambae islanders could settle permanently.

But the government official says any evacuation would not be compulsory.


Photo by Vanuatu Red Cross. Caption: Ash fall on Ambae Island

Ambae leader pleads to Vanuatu govt for help

Due to a constant heavy ash fall which has covered food gardens, grass on which animals feed and contaminated water supplies, the government says there is no other way but to evacuate all inhabitants.

The Daily Post Newspaper reports Vanuatu's Council of Ministers has declared a state of emergency on Ambae and approved plans for a second but permanent evacuation of all 11,000 people on Ambae to other islands.

It also reports a task force is negotiating potential resettlement on the nearby islands of Maewo and Pentecost.