The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
is rushing in aid, especially water, to the small Indian Ocean country
of Comoros, where a volcanic eruption may have displaced more than a third
of the total population.
The Karthala volcano on the main island of Njazidja has been erupting for the last two weeks, putting to flight between 180,000 and 250,000 people and enveloping the island in a cloud of toxic dust and smoke that is not only very dangerous to breathe but has also significantly contaminated drinking water.
UNICEF has provided 280,000 litres over past two days and will probably have to continue to do so, agency spokesman Damien Personnaz told a news briefing in Geneva today.
Some 250,000 people out of a total population of about 670,000 on the islands between continental Africa and Madagascar are without drinking water, and it is very difficult to move water to certain areas, he said.