The Prime Minister of Vanuatu Charlot Salwai has ordered mass evacuation of the entire population of Ambae island due to volcanic threat.
According to the Prime Minister, up to eleven thousand people shall be evacuated, starting immediately. Evacuation should be completed by 6 October. He also noted that most of the Ambae population will be evacuated to neighbouring Pentecost.
Earlier today we have reported that New Zealand Defence Force aerial survey has encountered huge columns of smoke, ash and rocks billowing from an erupting Vanuatu volcano.
The NZDF tasked an Orion aircraft with monitoring the Monaro volcano on Ambae Island to help Vanuatu’s National Disaster Management Office determine if a large eruption was imminent.
Yesterday’s aerial survey, which included the Ambrym and Lopevi volcanoes, had been planned before Monaro’s recent activity intensified.