70% of Ambae’s population forced to evacuate following volcanic eruptionPosted: September 24, 2017
Manaro Voui volcano on Ambae is erupting, and the Penama provincial government council and National Disaster Management Office is currently in the process of evacuating 8,000 residents from the north, south and western parts of the island to the east, and to neighbouring islands. Ambae’s total population is approximately 11,100. NDMO has mobilised several ships to assist with the evacuations. The Vanuatu Meteorological and Geo-Hazards Department (VMGD) has raised the warning level to 4 (out of a possible 5), indicating that a moderate eruption is occurring. VMGD also warns people on Ambae that dangerous flying rocks and volcanic gas are being experienced within 6.5 km of the volcano’s crater; ash falls have been reported across the island. VMGD says other hazards include acid rain and pyroclastic mud flows. Manaro Voui’s last eruption in 2005 resulted in the evacuation of 5,000 people.