Prime Minister Charlot Salwai announced on Tuesday, September 18, that the state of emergency for Ambae island has been extended for another two months. According to Salawi, the extension was ordered to allow evacuated residents from Ambae to acclimate to their relocated homes. The state of emergency was initially scheduled to end on September 26. Most of the island’s 11,000 residents have been relocated to Santo and Maewo since mandatory evacuations began on August 3. According to media reports, most of Ambae’s residents have been relocated as of Tuesday.
A state of emergency was declared on July 26 after a minor eruption occurred at the Manaro Volcano. The volcano entered its current state of activity in September 2017, forcing the complete evacuation of Ambae Island residents, who were then permitted to return to their homes after activity calmed in October 2017.
All those present in Vanuatu are advised to monitor the situation and avoid affected areas. Individuals already present in these areas are advised to follow all instructions issued by local authorities; be prepared to leave immediately if an evacuation order is given.
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