14 Oct 2017

UNICEF says Vanuatu evacuees coping

8:40 am on 14 October 2017

The UN childrens agency UNICEF says the Vanuatu islands of Pentecost and Maewo are being challenged by the number of evacuees from Ambae, but they are not struggling.

The special needs evacuation centre catered for the elderly, people with disabilities and young lactating mums and their families.

The special needs evacuation centre catered for the elderly, people with disabilities and young lactating mums and their families. Photo: RNZI / Koroi Hawkins

Some of the evacuees who fled the Manaro volcano are now being sheltered on the two islands, while the vast majority are on the big island, Santo.

UNICEF's country representative, Andrew Parker, said supplies are still being distribtued to the islands and the evacuees are doing alright.

"Students that are relocating from Ambae into Maewo are certainly being supported with personal hygiene kits, and blankets, mosquito nets, and lights and so on," he said.

"So, by and large, a relatively gentle - if that's the right word - and calm absorption of those evacuees. But naturally they'll be waiting with bated breath on decisions to return to Ambae."

On Tuesday, the Vanuatu government extended the state of emergency on Ambae for another two weeks.

Evacuees are not be able to return to Ambae until the state of emercgency has been rescinded.

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