Ambae volcano ERUPTION: Mass evacuations ordered as volcano threatens to blow | World | News

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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.

The current eruption is focused in the summit crater and there are no indications of activity elsewhere on Ambae Island.

Vanuatu’s Council of Ministers has declared a state of emergency on Ambae due to the island’s volcano spewing so much ash the island is becoming uninhabitable.

The director general of Vanuatu’s Ministry of Climate Change and Natural Disaster Jesse Benjamin said: “For the state of emergency of Ambae it’s actually because of the heavy ash fall on all parts of Ambae.

“And it is so thick that you know that their vegetation, their water has been contaminated and people are struggling to get food from the garden because there’s been heavy ash fall on most every part of Ambae.”

How the evacuation will be undertaken is being discussed by a taskforce.



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