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Thousands evacuate in Vanuatu as volcanic activity continues

27 September 2017

Posted in: Pacific Radio News,

By Ruci Farrell -

Mount Yasur in Vanuatu. Photo/ Wikipedia: Rolf Cosar. 

Poisonous gases and volcanic rock spitting out of the open lava lake of Manaro has seen thousands of ni-Vanuatu villagers fleeing to evacuation centres.

News correspondent Danny McGarry says people are staying well clear of the danger zones as volcanic activity intensifies.

"We characterise the volcanic activity as unprecedented," he says. "Chief John Tarilama, he's never seen an open lava like we have now in his lifetime, and he's 73 years old."

Seismologists say four of the country's eight volcanoes have registered heightened activity within the last week. 

Meanwhile the local ni-Vanuatu community in Auckland is concerned about the safety of their families on the island of Ambae. 

Auckland resident Charlton Theo says they are waiting to hear about what kind of assistance is needed.

"We're thinking of them here but as far as knowing what to do, we don't know yet until we get a report."

No casualties have been reported. 

Tags: Vanuatu, environment,