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Thursday, 12 April 2018

Houses collapsing trees falling and exacerbated breathing conditions as Vanuatu's Ambae Island volcano blows during tropical cyclone

Photo AFP
A state of emergency has been declared for Vanuatu's Ambae Island as a volcano continues to spill thick heavy ash.
Houses are collapsing and trees are falling from the weight from a heavy ash fall from the volatile volcano.
The same volcano caused a desperate Dunkirk-style evacuation on the northern island of Ambae last September as a flotilla of boats rescued islanders from the erupting volcano.
Recent reports indicate that ash fall covered most of north, east and west Ambae Tuesday night with close to 1cm of ash being measured in some villages on north Ambae.
“The situation is becoming critical in some areas with trees falling and blocking roads,” reports Dr Leodoro, PENAMA Health Emergency Operations Centre, national EMT coordinator.
“We have received reports of houses collapsing due to the weight of the ash.”
This thick ash, combined with rain from the recent tropical cyclone, has made access by road very difficult for the disaster response teams.
“I am confirming that heavy ash fall has caused skin and eye irritations, and exacerbated breathing conditions like asthma,” continued Dr Leodoro, according to Vanuatu Daily Post.
Back in September 2017, Vanuatu launched a Dunkirk-style evacuation on the northern island of Ambae as a flotilla of boats rescued islanders from an erupting volcano.
The eruption has polluted many of the island's water sources leaving thousands of people in need of safe drinking water, Red Cross delegate Joe Cropp told Reuters by phone.
"Water is crucial," he said.

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