Volcano Activity in Vanuatu on April 12 2018 05:17 PM (UTC).
While initially impacting only southern parts of the island, more violent eruptions and changing wind patterns have caused ash to cover the entire island. Lindsay Ford, Chairman of Rotary International on Norfolk Island, said the humanitarian organization has been notified of at least four deaths related to the volcano in recent days. Some areas have endured significant ash falls which has forced the Vanuatu government to consider permanently relocating all the residents of the island. The Vanuatu government has met with chiefs from the islands of Maemo and Pentecost to attempt to acquire land for the current residents of Ambae, according to ABC. Vanuatu's Council of Ministers hopes to have land secured by the end of May. Food supplies have been completely destroyed by the falling ash, and water sources have been polluted. Impacts are expected to remain limited to Ambae Island barring a more significant eruption. Winds will generally be from the east to southeast this week, carrying the majority of ash to western and northwestern parts of the island.
Ambae volcano has increased in activity, as it emits ash and gases and a large amount of sulphur dioxide. The relocation of thousands of households is being considered, as the island becomes uninhabitable. Ambae volcano on the island state of Vanuatu is in the minor eruption state and its volcanic alert level remains at level 3. Authorities have implemented a restricted area of risk which is 3km from the active vent. The volcano started to become more active in March and early April 2018 and it started to emit more and sustained volcanic ash or/and gases. Vanuatu meteorology and geo-hazards department (VMGD) said: "These observations and the analysis of seismic data confirm that the volcano activity is in the level of minor eruption state. "The volcano activity consist of ongoing emission of ashes, gases and volcanic bombs." The VMGD noted these new eruptions mark a change in character for the volcano to more ash-rich explosive eruptions versus the types of eruption in November 2017, according to Discover Magazine. However the possibility the Ambae volcano activity will escalate to the level of moderate eruption is low. A large sulphur dioxide plume was emitted from Ambae in early April and it may have emitted the most sulphur dioxide of any eruption since the 2015 eruption at Calbuco in Chile. It was noted by Simon Carn, a volcanologist and professor at Michigan Tech. Dr Carn said a significant amount of ash was emitted during one of these eruptions and pictures on Twitter show the extent of ash on the island, which suggested it was a pretty large eruption. Ambae volcano is a very large volcano and is frequently active. In its recorded history there have been many eruptions - every 10-50 years over the past 150 years. All these eruptions have been from the summit craters, except one recorded in the 1670s.
Villagers on the Vanuatu island of Ambae were facing their second evacuation in seven months Friday after a volcano rumbled back to life and rained ash on their homes. Authorities in the Pacific nation have declared a state of emergency on the northern island, where 11,000 people were forced to leave last September. Many have only just returned home but the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department said the Manaro Voui volcano was undergoing a level three eruption, the mid-point in a five-level scale. National disaster ministry director general Jesse Benjamin said any evacuation would be more orderly than the one carried out in September, when a flotilla of small vessels were pressed into service to rush people off the island. "Last year's evacuation was conducted in haste, amidst fears of a major eruption," he told the Daily Post newspaper. "There is some dissatisfaction about the way we moved people at the time. This time we will be evacuating people from the severely affected communities first, before the less affected. "The government is worried about the safety of the people." Vanuatu, which has a population of about 280,000 spread over 65 inhabited islands, is regarded as one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world. It sits on the so-called "Pacific Rim of Fire" making it vulnerable to strong earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, while powerful cyclones also regularly lash the islands.