Vanuatu officials last week ordered the complete evacuation of the island's 11,000 residents, fearing the Manaro volcano might blow in a major eruption
This Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017 photo provided by GeoHazards Divison, Vanuatu Meteorological and GeoHazards Department, shows an aerial view of the volcanic cone that has formed in Lake Vui near the summit of Ambae Island, Vanuatu. The evacuation of the Vanuatu island was continuing on Monday, Oct. 2, 2017 even after scientists said an erupting volcano had stabilized. A makeshift fleet of vessels ranging from large landing craft to tiny water taxis was moving thousands of people from Ambae island to other nearby islands in the Pacific archipelago. (Brad Scott/GeoHazards Divison, VMGD via AP), photo: GeoHazards Division/Brad Scott via AP
02 of October 2017 13:08:50
WELLINGTON – The evacuation of a Vanuatu island was continuing on Monday even after scientists said an erupting volcano had stabilized.A makeshift fleet of vessels ranging from tiny water taxis to large landing craft was moving thousands of people from Ambae island to nearby islands in the Pacific archipelago.Vanuatu officials last week ordered the complete evacuation of the island's 11,000 residents, fearing the Manaro volcano might blow in a major eruption.But Brad Scott, a New Zealand volcanologist who is helping in Vanuatu, said the volcano had stabilized over the last few days. He said lava is continuing to erupt from Manaro but is no longer interacting with water as it was in the volcano's earlier and more explosive stage.
The ash could be smelled in the air and was polluting water supplies, said Joe Cropp, a spokesman with the International Federation of the Red Cross who has been helping on Ambae.He said people were leaving with what they could carry and making the half-day boat journey, in some cases with 400 others in the military-style landing vessels and at other times with just a couple of dozen others in the zipping water taxis.He said the evacuation seemed to be progressing well, although some people were afraid of what awaited them on the other islands. He said on Espiritu Santo, people were being housed in churches, schools and tents."Their main fear is they won't be able to return home," he said.The government has deployed about 100 police officers to Ambae to prevent looting, and Cropp said they had a noticeable but low-key presence there.Cropp said most people on Ambae live a subsistence lifestyle by farming and fishing, and few own cars to traverse the dirt roads. Many people live in tin or thatch huts, he said, with perhaps one brick building per village.
1000s of people are evacuating as #Manaro volcano shows increasing risk of serious eruption. @VanuatuRedCross is supporting the evacuation & response. https://t.co/WnugiKc3nx pic.twitter.com/HTd637Emqs— IFRC (@Federation) 2 de octubre de 2017