by Staff Writers
Wellington (AFP) Sept 28, 2017
Vanuatu on Thursday ordered the compulsory evacuation of an entire island where a huge volcano rumbled to life over the weekend, threatening a major eruption.
All 11,000 people on the island of Ambae -- in the Pacific archipelago's north -- will be evacuated by October 6, Prime Minister Charlot Salwai's office said.
Vanuatu's National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) said it was the first time in living memory that an island's whole population had been moved because of volcanic activity.
"We have the shipping capacity here in Vanuatu to move 11,000 people, it will be mainly commercial vessels moving people to neighbouring islands," NDMO director Shadrack Welegtabit told AFP.
Most of Ambae's population is already sheltering in evacuation centres on the island after the Manaro Voui volcano rained rocks and ash on their villages.
It sent up a plume of steam and ash over the weekend, prompting authorities to declare a state of emergency and raise the volcano's threat level to four, the second highest rating.
"We have already moved people out of the high ground to safe areas in the west and the east (of Ambae island)," Welegtabit said.
"The likelihood is that it will go to level five... (so) we have to get people off the island."
The volcano, also known as Aoba and Lombenben, has three lakes in its crater and last erupted in late 2005.
On that occasion about 5,000 people were evacuated and it was three months before the volcano settled enough for them to return home.
Welegtabit said emergency officials were looking at using schools and other large buildings on neighbouring islands for temporary accommodation.
He said it was impossible to know how long the emergency would last.
"It's a question of how long the volcanic activity will continue, nobody knows," he said.
The eruption so far, while officially classed as "moderate", has led to warnings of flying rocks, acid rain and volcanic gas.
It has also laid a blanket of ash over crops and water sources in an area that was already experiencing a dry spell.
The Vanuatu government has appealed for international aid to help deal with the crisis.
Karangasem, Indonesia (AFP) Sept 26, 2017
Vehicles laden with food, facemasks and bedding have been sent to help more than 75,000 people who have fled a volcano on the tourist island of Bali, as the Indonesian president flew in to visit crowded aid centres. Mount Agung, 75 kilometres (47 miles) from the resort hub of Kuta, has been rumbling since August and threatening to erupt for the first time since 1963 - a potential blow to th ... read more
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
When the Earth Quakes
A world of storm and tempest
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|