During the night of Friday the 22 September 2017, the province of Penama in Vanuatu, was elevated to an Alert Level 4 ‘Moderate eruption state’ due to elevated activity of Manaro volcano on the island of Ambae. On Thursday 28 September A State of Emergency was declared for the entire island and on Thursday 28 September and a full, compulsory evacuation of the 11,000 residents of Ambae island was ordered to nearby islands of Espiritu Santo, Pentecost and Maewo. The volcano subsided somewhat and residents that chose to were repatriated by 30th October 2017. On 7th December 2017 the Alert Level was downgraded to 2 ‘Major Unrest’. However on Sunday March 18th 2018 the volcano erupted again and the Alert Level was increased to 3 ‘Minor Eruption State’ with emissions of gas, ash and volcanic bombs. In particular the impact from the continuous outpouring of ash and gas emissions have created hazards including acid rain, flash flooding and landslides, polluted and destroyed water sources, damaged traditional housing, crops and trees, and impacted human health through direct exposure to acid rain and inhalation of fine ash particles.
ACT Alliance partners are currently monitoring the situation and are preparing a rapid needs assessment to have an in-depth context analysis and better understanding of existing vulnerabilities.