Volcano ashfall

Asthma death on Vanuatu's ash-filled Ambae

The population of Ambae is being moved off the island because of continuing issues with ashfall and smoke caused by the Manaro volcano which has been erupting intermittently since September last year.

A community leader from Lolovenue village confirmed that the dead man was taken to the nearest health centre where he later died.

The leader also confirmed that they had asked the authorities coordinating the evacuation from Ambae to allow the families to spend a few more days on Ambae to mourn the dead man.

Ash fall from Vanuatu volcano forces school closures on Ambae

This was the second time this year the students have had to be evacuated.

The Vanuatu Daily Post reports all senior students have already been relocated to schools on Maewo Island and Santo.

The government has determined that Ambae is no longer safe for the up to 11,000 people that continue to live there.

Police are expected to be assigned to travel to Ambae soon to assist with the relocation.

Meanwhile, concerns have been raised about students' living conditions on the two islands.

Ambae residents ordered to evacuate - Vanuatu govt

A government minister, Ralph Regenvanu, said the decision was made by cabinet this morning.

The volcano at the island's centre, which has been erupting in fits and bursts since September, has increased its activity in recent days.

On Thursday, reports from the island indicated that ash fall was so severe the sun was blocked.

Hundreds of Ambaeans have already opted to leave voluntarily, most of them to Vanuatu's large, north island of Espiritu Santo.

Volcanic ash turns day into night on Vanuatu's Ambae

Eyewitnesses said in the worst affected areas ash fall darkened the sky so much yesterday that vehicles picking villagers up around midday had to use their headlights.

Even the safe zones on East Ambae were no longer safe and victims were being relocated to Lolowai which is on the north eastern side of Ambae, they said.

The National Disaster Management Office told the Daily Post newspaper that the MV Tauraken was expected to transport people mainly from south Ambae to the nearby island of Maewo today.

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.