Need to evacuate children and old people off Ambae

THE people of Ambae have begun self-evacuating in the wake of continuing increased volcanic activity.

Councillor James Tari from Ambae said on Saturday there were three flights to Santo evacuating children and old people from their area.

He said the government has not put a date for evacuating people off the island, so they have taken it into their own hands to try to move their children and old people to Santo.

“The situation in Ambae is really bad,” he said.

“Three days ago we experienced heavy ash fall and gas from the volcano.

“We can’t sit and wait for the government; and following the last experience on how we were forced to move, we didn’t want the old and young to go through the same thing again.

“Even though the government has declared Ambae a ‘state of emergency’ the government has not given the exact time for evacuation.

“The volcanic ash and the next eruption from the volcano is not going to wait for the government, so we think it’s better for us to save the lives of some of our children and old people on our own cost,” said councillor Tari.

He said during the first evacuation to Santo they had bought land and their plan is to return to Santo to continue their lives there.