State of emergency extended for Vanuatu's volcanic Ambae

Source: Xinhua| 2018-09-18 18:12:48|Editor: ZX
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SUVA, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- The Vanuatu government has extended the state of emergency for the country's volcanic island of Ambae for a further two months.

According to Radio New Zealand on Tuesday, Vanuatu's Prime Minister Charlot Salwai said the declaration was due to end at the end of the month, and an extension was necessary to allow the evacuees to acclimatise to their relocated homes.

The evacuation of people from the Ambae island to the nearby islands of Maewo and Santo was carried out after the Vanuatu government asked Ambae's people to have a compulsory evacuation. Currently, most of the island's population has been evacuated after the volcano at its center erupted, blanketing the island in ash and causing sickness for many.

The decision by the Vanuatu government to compulsorily evacuate more than 11,000 people of Ambae to the evacuation site on the island of Maewo was made following continuous escalation of the Marano Vui volcano activity on Ambae.

The explosions and spewing of volcanic ash including the associated risks of lava flow and other related volcanic hazards based on the observation and monitoring of the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazard Department (VMGD) showed it was too risky for the people of Ambae to continue to live on their island.

The Vanuatu Mobile Force (VMF) members were deployed to get people off the island after an evacuation was ordered following a state of emergency which was supposed to end on Sept. 26.

The Vanuatu government through its clusters have been working to ensure food, water and hygiene kits and tarpaulins reach the people.

Evacuees have been seeking temporary shelter with communities as they wait to move into permanent relocation sites.

The Vanuatu government has assured that it will evacuate the people to Maewo and will continue to care for them until they recover.

The last significant eruption on Ambae island happened in 2005.