13 Jun 2005

Volcano's acid rain forces evacuations of western side of Ambrym in Vanuatu

6:45 am on 13 June 2005

Chiefs on the western side of the island of Ambrym in Vanuatu have evacuated people out of the area because of acid rain, contamination of water sources and noxious fumes from a nearby volcano.

The Australian volcanologist John Seach is leading an expedition to the summit of a volcano on Ambrym this to monitor the impact of recent eruptions.

The British government has upgraded its travel advisory for Vanuatu, warning against all travel to Ambrym, saying water supplies in the west of the island aren't safe for any use.

Vanuatu's National Disaster Management Office is advising visitors to nearby Ambae Island to use facemasks and to avoid exposure to the fumes, particularly when it's raining.