2 Dec 2005

Vanuatu volcano being monitored by scientists

4:14 pm on 2 December 2005

Vanuatu's National Disaster Management Office says national geologists are monitoring the situation in Ambae where a volcano has been showing increasing signs of activity.

NDMO officer Esron Molisa says since the volcano's explosion on Sunday, there have been reports of volcanic ash falling on western parts of Ambae.

The seismic activity below Lake Vui has reportedly forced the lake to rise up towards the top of the crater, threatening to unleash a torrent of water down every creek that is linked to the lake.

While the Penama Provincial authorities are appealing to the central government to prepare for a potential major evacuation, Mr Molisa says they're watching the volcano closely...

"We have sent a monitoring team from Geology and Mines to the island on Monday and they are monitoring the group now. And also we have partners from New Zealand and Australia and France assisting to send in some expertise to give us some scientific information this weekend."

NDMO officer Esron Molisa