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Vanuatu orders mass evacuation from Ambae

Staff Writer |
Vanuatu's Prime Minister has ordered a compulsory evacuation of the population of Ambae due to the volcanic threat.

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Prime Minister, Charlot Salwai, says he expects the mass evacuation of up to eleven thousand people to begin immediately and be completed by October 6.

Media director of the Vanuatu Daily Post Dan McGarry said most people will be relocated to two publicly owned stretches of land on the neighbouring island of Pentecost.

"They'll be travelling by ship, that's the only reasonable way to ferry that number of people involved.

"In conjunction with this exodus they will be issuing travel restrictions in the immediate area so that people won't be able to travel in to the affected area and this should facilitate the flow of people."

McGarry said the Prime Minister had taken the precaution in order to potentially save lives given the volcano's unpredictability.

The alert level for the erupting Monaro volcano was raised to four recent days - level five is the highest - and Vanuatu's Meteorology and Geohazards Department warned of flying rocks, volcanic gas, acid rain and ash falls.


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