Vanuatu says most residents evacuated from belching volcano

2017-10-04 12:40
An aerial photograph of the Manaro Voui volcano on Ambae Island in Vanuatu. (New Zealand Defence Force, AFP)

An aerial photograph of the Manaro Voui volcano on Ambae Island in Vanuatu. (New Zealand Defence Force, AFP)

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Wellington — Vanuatu officials say they've all but completed the evacuation of an island where a belching volcano has been threatening to blow.

National Disaster Management Office Director Shadrack Welegtabit said on Wednesday more than 11 000 residents of Ambae island have been moved to nearby islands in the Pacific archipelago.

He says only a handful of residents who have refused to leave remain, but that police officers "are working on that". He says those remaining will be removed by force if necessary.

Scientists say the Manaro volcano has stabilised from a more explosive state last week.

But they're still categorising the activity as Level 4 on a scale in which Level 5 represents a major eruption. Officials are likely to wait until the volcano's activity level is downgraded before allowing people to return.

Read more on:    vanuatu  |  volcanoes

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