Vanuatu volcano

Australia sends help for Vanuatu volcano evacuation

The vessel was dispatched on Saturday to help assist people from the northern island of Ambae as Monaro Voui threatens to shower down burning ash and acid rain.

Vanuatu ordered the full evacuation of the island after the nation's largest volcano began emitting volcanic gas last weekend.

Boats will spend the next week ferrying residents off Ambae where the Monaro volcano spewed lava, smoke, and ash since Sunday.

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.