10 Oct 2013

Vanuatu says action will be taken on unexploded bombs in Port Vila Harbour

5:10 pm on 10 October 2013

Vanuatu says it will definitely take action on unexploded ordnance on land and underwater around the country.

The Director-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Johnny Koanapo, says his department may have already received a report from the New Zealand High Commission, after the New Zealand Navy confirmed bombs were lying in the Port Vila Harbour.

He says expert help from outside will be needed to clean up the bombs, as well as other ordnance reportedly on and around Espiritu Santo, which the US used as an air base during the Second World War.

Despite warnings from dive operators in Santo that the tourism market could be affected, Mr Koanapo says something has to be done in the interests of safety.

"It's not only important but urgent and once the report is finalised then the Government will have to really immediately look into it and take some actions."

The Director-General of the Vanuatu Ministry of Foreign Affairs Johnny Koanapo.