Vila Times

Ambae MP: decision to evacuate entire island was premature

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Jay Ngwele, local MP for Ambae island, has said the Vanuatu government’s decision to compulsorily evacuate the entire island amid fears of a volcanic eruption, was based on too little evidence.

According to Jay Ngwele, while he understands the government made the decision to protect lives, he was surprised to learn there are only 2 seismic stations on Ambae, reports Pacific Beat.

He has also raised concerns that the humanitarian response was too slow after the government’s initial order late last week to evacuate all 11,000 people from the island.

“We only have two seismic stations on Ambae. It is not enough to provide substantial data for the decision of complete evacuation, which the government has done last week,” Jay Ngwele said.

“I think we did not have enough evidence for a compulsory evacuation.”