Vanuatu again orders evacuation of island as volcano erupts

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The Pacific nation of Vanuatu has again ordered thousands of people to leave Ambae island as a volcano erupts and fills the sky with ash.

Government lawmaker Ralph Regenvanu said Friday on Twitter that the Cabinet had re-imposed a state of emergency and ordered the compulsory evacuation of the entire island, which was once home to about 10 000 people.

The island was temporarily evacuated last September when the eruption cycle began. Since March, authorities have been encouraging people to permanently relocate by offering residence on two neighbouring islands.

On Saturday, authorities raised the volcanic alert level to 3, indicating a minor eruption.

Ambae resident Lillian Garae says it has been hard to sleep because of the volcano's noise and that the ash is aggravating asthma in some young children.

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