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Vanuatu prepares to evacuate 5000 as Ambae volcano erupts

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Staff Writer | September 23, 2017
Authorities in Vanuatu were preparing to evacuate as many as 5000 people on Saturday, as a volcanic eruption on Ambae island continued to intensify.
Vanuatu volcano
Pacific   A moderate eruption state
The country's Geohazards Department on Saturday raised its alert from level three to four, what it classified as a "moderate eruption state."

The volcano is one of the most active in the world, but its activity has steadily increased in the past couple of weeks, said Esline Garaeviti, the manager of the Geohazards Department.

On Saturday, that increased further, with the volcano belching ash across much of the 400sqkm island.

"In the early hours, around 3-4am, we noticed that the activity started to increase, followed by another eruptive phase," said Ms Garaeviti.

"So the ash plume from Ambae is still there now. The ash fall is expected all around the island."

"The increased level of activity means increased area of risk," she said. "There's more risk exposed to people on the island, that's why. It's a moderate state of activity."


 

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