Thu 28, Sep 2017
The Vanuatu Government has ordered a full-scale evacuation of the island of Ambae in the north of the country. The massive Manaro Volcano has been undergoing a series of violent eruptions over the past five days, caused by the exposure of a new magma chamber to the atmosphere. The alert level is at Level 4, the second highest level, with flying rocks and volcanic gas being recorded in the immediate 6.5 km vicinity, while hazardous ash falls and acid rains are affecting most of the island.
Approximately 8,000 people have moved to evacuation centres along the coast but will now have to leave the island. The total population of the island is over 10,000. Both the police and the National Disaster Management Office are working to provide the necessary transport to relocate people to the nearby islands of Santo, Pentecost, Malekula and Maewo.
Local authorities and churches are actively involved in assuring community safety, with ABM’s partner The Anglican Church of Melanesia providing evacuation shelters and basic provisions at St. Patrick’s College, Torgil and Tumsisiro. The Church’s headquarters is based on Santo where they can continue to provide relief aid for the evacuees.
There are already challenges from overcrowding in some evacuation centres, where water and sanitation facilities are been stretched beyond capacity. It will be a long road to recovery in terms of food security, as the acid rains have caused extensive damage to household garden crops. In many communities around Vanuatu, subsistence farming is often the primary means of food production, so any disruption to this growth can be devastating for families.
The Provincial operation team for the Penma province, of which the island of Ambae is part, is currently liaising with local business people on the island to assist with food and water supplies for displaced people. However, the situation is now dire with the whole island to be evacuated.
ABM has launched an Emergency Appeal to assist victims of the volcanic eruptions, and seeks to raise AU$10,000. ABM will be working closely with the Anglican Church of Melanesia in Vanuatu, using these funds to ensure essential supplies of food and water are delivered to those in greatest need.
More updates will be posted as they come to hand. Please keep the people of Vanuatu in your prayers.
ABM APPEAL FLYERS FOR PARISHES AND INDIVIDUALS
(Please don’t forget to write down the Code VU009 and/or the campaign name Vanuatu Volcano Emergency and include it with your donation.)
Gifts to ABM will be applied to the support of project(s) selected. In the unlikely event of the project being oversubscribed or not proceeding to completion, donations will be applied to a similar project to the one(s) selected.