24 Apr 2018

Multiple land offers for Ambae's volcano evacuees

5:45 pm on 24 April 2018

A number of land offers to accommodate Ambae Islanders forced to move by the latest volcanic eruption have been received by the Vanuatu government, the internal affairs minister says.

Evacuees from Ambae being registered as they arrive at Espiritu Santo.

Photo: RNZI / Koroi Hawkins

The Manaro Voui crater on Mount Lombenben which began erupting in September last year, prompting a short term evacuation, intensified last month, forcing the government to announce a state of emergency.

The minister, Andrew Napuat, said Ambae's population of about 11,000 people were being encouraged to leave the island voluntarily.

A request for land for the islanders had prompted a good response from neighbouring islands, like Santo, Maewo and Pentecost, Mr Napuat said.

"Even the people of Malekula have also come forward to make an offer to the government that they're ready to accommodate the people of Ambae," he said.

"So basically what we doing is encouraging the people of Ambae to co-operate with us and move out of the disaster areas and move to the sites that have been identified by the government with the National Disaster Management Office."

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