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Ambrym assessment underway
5:43 pm GMT+12, 19/12/2018, Vanuatu

The Vanuatu Government, through the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) will support the Malampa Provincial Government Council (MPGC) to assist communities in Ambrym affected by volcanic eruption based on the findings of the assessment which is underway.
 
The Acting Director of NDMO, Shedrack Welegtabit, said: “The assessment will determine our response to the disaster.
 
“MPGC is taking full responsibility of the assessment.
 
“We (NDMO) are also closely monitoring the situation and will offer additional assistance if the MPGC requested us”.
 
The Secretary General (SG) of MPGC, Neil Netaf, confirmed the deployment of an assessment team from Malekula to Ambrym.
 
The assessment team comprises of five officers from the Malampa Department of Agriculture, Health and Water and one officer from the provincial government.
 
They will join three other officers at Craig Cover in Ambrym to assess the full impacts of the volcanic eruption on environment, livestock, water and human health.
 
They will divide into two groups. One group will conduct assessment starting from Ranon to Makam and the other will begin from Konkon.
 
The Secretary General (SG) of MPGC, Neil Netaf, stressed: “The main worry at the moment is ash fall.
 
“Report received from North Ambrym Area Council revealed that volcanic ash has damaged food crops and water sources are contaminated.
 
“People in southeast Ambrym are reporting continuous tremors”.
 
The assessment report is expected to reach NDMO early next week once it is completed during the weekend, said SG Netaf.
 
The Prime Minister’s Office have been briefed on the situation and the Council of Ministers (COM) is expected to meet soon to discuss how to address it.
 
The Manager of Disaster Operations at NDMO, Peter Korisa, told the Daily Post that the damage caused by volcanic ash is a bit huge.
 
In north Ambrym, homes, crops and livestock have suffered from volcanic ash. Water sources are contaminated which can lead to water shortage.
 
North Ambrym Area Secretary Jackson said volcanic ash has polluted their coast and their cabbage leaves are no longer safe to eat.
 
He said they desperately want immediate assessment on their water quality.
 
The ongoing tremors after the eruption have caused cracks on land and in homes in the south eastern part of the island.
 
On Monday this week, the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-hazards Department (VMGD) advised that the earthquake activity on Ambrym is ongoing, which may cause cracks on buildings and lands in some areas especially in southeast area.
 
“People in the area are advised to stay away from the cracks, not to bury the cracks and not to poke things into them”, said VMGD.
 
Ambrym Volcano Alert Status is still maintain at Level 3.
 
VMGD said villages from northeast and east Ambrym including south Pentecost may continue to experience impacts of ash, gas and acid rain can be expected during rainfall.

SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST/PACNEWS


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