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Hundreds evacuated as Pacific volcano erupts on Vanuatu

Posted by Lindy on November 27, 2009

More than 300 villagers were evacuated in the Pacific nation of Vanuatu after an erupting volcano started spewing smoke and ash on to their homes.

Hundreds evacuated as Pacific volcano erupts on Vanuatu.

Gaua, about 9,800 feet high, has erupted 13 times since 1963, tourism officials say

Residents were loaded onto fishing boats and shipped to the far side of Gaua island after the volcano, which has been rumbling for the past two months, started erupting.

“They’re evacuating people to the other side of the island. The volcano was throwing ash in the place they live,” said a Red Cross spokesman. He said police and Vanuatu’s National Disaster Management Office were overseeing the operation.

The Red Cross is providing water containers and purification tablets for the villagers, who have been hit by respiratory problems and diarrhoea caused by the volcano’s pungent sulphur fumes.

The evacuees will have to stay away from their villages until the volcano subsides, the official said. The area has been put on the second highest alert level, reports said.

Vanuatu is on the “Pacific Ring of Fire”, where the meeting of continental plates causes high volcanic and seismic activity.


Published: 12:39PM GMT 26 Nov 2009


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