15 Dec 2005

Funds allocated for islanders displaced by volcanic eruption, says Vanuatu PM

4:13 pm on 15 December 2005

Vanuatu's Prime Minister says the government doesn't regard the volcanic eruptions on Ambae Island as bad enough yet to request substantial overseas assistance.

Ham Lini has confirmed the government has allocated relief funds of up to 500-thousand US dollars for Ambae islanders displaced by the eruption of Mt Manaro.

Around three thousand people are now being cared for in 15 relocation centres on the coast of Ambae, and another seven thousand people remain in their villages while the volcano continues to emit steam with periodic explosions tossing out ash.

Mr Lini says other countries have offered relief and aid assistance...

"Countries are ready but actually the government hasn't really made a request because at the moment we believe that maybe it is still at the level two and does not cause too much of a problem and maybe we'll see how it continues to develop. If it goes to a level three maybe that's the time when we'll ask the aid donors to come in."

Ham Lini.