NEOC Situation Update: Ambrym Volcanic Activity & Ambae Volcanic Activity – Displaced population update - Situation Report 03 & 28, 15:35 27 December 2018


Situation Overview


  • On Saturday 15 December the VMGD raised the Volcanic Alert Level for Ambrym volcano to Level 3, as the volcano is in the minor eruption state.

  • VMGD observations and seismic data analysis confirm an ongoing emission of ash and gas from eruptive vents from Benbow and Marum craters and ongoing localized earthquake activity in the south eastern part of Ambrym. This earthquake activity is related to the current volcano eruption. See

  • The National Disaster Management Office, in conjunction with Malampa Province, is coordinating a rapid assessment on the ground. Malampa Province has deployed an impact and needs assessment team, focussing on the main sectors such as Health, Agriculture, Water and Infrastructure at the most affected areas (North East and South East sides of the island). The NDMO and VMGD have deployed an assessment team to conduct rapid scientific assessment on ground.

  • Ash fall and gases have been reported primarily over the North Eastern side of the island.

  • Earthquake activity has caused extensive cracks in buildings and land in some areas, especially in the South East Ambrym area. Roads, water supplies, buildings and gardens have been damaged.

  • The main affected village in the South East Ambrym is Paamal. Residents of Paamal have moved to Ule School. There are 3 evacuation centres currently in use – the Presbyterian Church, Ule School dormitories and the School football field (in tents and under tarpaulins).

  • The 3 main immediate priority needs for the affected people are shelter, food and water.

  • No TVL coverage on Ambrym Island.

  • Digicel network coverage is not good in the affected area ▪ Ule airstrip has developed a fault line beside the runway.

Ambae Volcano – Displaced population update

  • The Ambae volcano remains at Level 2 since November 14 2018.

  • Imminent eruption could occur at any time at Level 2, which represents the major unrest state.

  • The Danger Zone for life safety is limited at 2 km radius from the active vent and areas in the yellow zone of the below map.

  • VMGD observation and seismic data confirms that the volcano is in the major unrest state, which consists on ongoing emission of steam and /or volcanic gases. See for more information.

  • Current ash accumulation on ground may change the behaviors of streams and creeks when it rains as more debris (sand, gravel and boulders) washed down the coastal areas.

  • The likelihood for the Ambae volcano to escalate to the level of minor eruption is low.