12 Jun 2003

Acid rain falling on Vanuatu villages near volcanic eruption

9:18 am on 12 June 2003

Acid rain is falling on island villages in Vanuatu which are close to the eruption from the Lopevi volcano.

The general manager of the National Disaster Management office, Job Esau, says people on the islands of Paama and Epi as well as villages in south-east Ambryn have been warned to secure their water supplies.

Mr Esau says up to 3000 people could be affected.

Two vulcanologists have been sent to Ambryn to monitor the volcano which has stopped erupting but heavy rain in the area is causing concern.

Mr Esau says it is unlikely that anybody will have to be evacuated from nearby islands although food and water supplies may well be affected.