Ambae Island

Housing Vanuatu evacuees strains resources

More than 7000 of the evacuees are being sent to the neighbouring island of Santo, where RNZ Pacific reporter Koroi Hawkins has been visiting refugees in evacuation centres.

The Pacific nation's government has ordered a mass evacuation of Ambae, after about a week of escalating volcanic observations of Monaro Voui.

A state of emergency was declared on 26 September.

The first boatloads arrived at 1am this morning, with over a 1000 men, women and children disoriented and distraught at having been uprooted from their homes.

500 evacuated today from Vanuatu's Ambae island

The government's ordered the evacuation of the entire island, as the volcano - Manaro Voui - blankets the island in ash and acid rain.

The head of the island's provincial government, Georgewin Garae, on Saturday said about 500 people had already evacuated themselves, either by chartering planes or boats.

But he said the majority of the island's 11,000 people were waiting for the government evacuation, which will start in earnest tomorrow, with ferries starting to arrive today.

Vanuatu authorities call for calm as volcano rumbles on

The volcanic alert level at the Manaro Voui crater was upgraded to level four last week with the Geohazards Department warning of flying rocks, volcanic gas, acid rain and ash falls.

At least 7000 of the islands population of more than 11,000 have been relocated from danger zones around the volcano to evacuation centres on the western and eastern sides of the island.

Up to 20 percent of Ambae residents are thought to have already left for nearby islands but the government says it wants all of them off as the eruption is not abating.

Vanuatu considers mass evacuation from Ambae

Ambae's Manaro volcano was upgraded to level four activity five days ago with the Geohazards Department warning of flying rocks, volcanic gas, acid rain and ash falls.

RNZI rpeort the coordinator for the Vanuatu Redcross Dickenson Tevi said shipping vessels were on standby awaiting the decision.

He said it was likely Ambae's population of 10,000 will be evacuated to neighbouring islands including Santo, Pentecost and Malekula.

Vanuatu authorities register evacuees from volcano danger zone

So far 6800 people have been relocated by Vanuatu Red Cross and other agencies.

Penama Provincial Government is registering evacuees to keep a track of how many people have been evacuated so far and how many need further assistance.

According to the Red Cross, about 900 people are yet to be evacuated.

There are efforts underway to identify more evacuation centres to accommodate all the people affected.

Vanuatu police assist with evacuation on Ambae island

NDMO Operations Manager, Peter Korissa says they hope to evacuate all the residents in the north and south of Ambae Island before the end of the week.

The volcano has been rumbling for weeks, but its activity increased rapidly on Saturday, when it started belching ash across much of the island, blanketing villages and crops in the north and south.  

Authorities have been using limited local vessels to move people from north and south Amabae to the east and west sides of the island.

State of emergency declared as evacuation continues on Ambae Island

The government has declared a state of emergency and residents are being moved from a dense danger zone to safer grounds.

Vanuatu Red Cross Disaster Risk Reduction coordinator, Agustine Karae, told Loop Vanuatu that about 3500 to 4000 people have been moved to safer grounds and the numbers are expected to increase.

Karae says residents have been advised to take precautions as there is the danger of the volcano further erupting to reach a level 5.