12 Dec 2005

Activity at Vanuatu's Mount Manaro volcano stabilises

12:23 pm on 12 December 2005

Scientists say seismic activity at an erupting volcano on the Vanuatu island of Ambae has stabilised.

Five-thousand people have been evacuated from around Mount Manaro, which has been spewing ash and debris from its crater lake since last month.

A vulcanologist from New Zealand's Massey University, Shane Cronin, says the volcano still looks spectacular but it is not posing any immediate danger to those nearby.

He says scientists are trying to work out which areas are safe.

"We are trying to use computer models of some of these floods and volcanic mass flows to just hone in on one or two of the key danger areas so we can help the authorities plans a staged return to some of the people being evacuated."

Shane Cronin, a vulcanologist from Massey University.