Vanuatu: Ambae Volcano Eruption 2018 Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) DREF Operation n° MDRVU006

A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

In October 2017, the entire population (approximately 11,000 people) of Ambae, an island in the north of the Vanuatu archipelago, were temporarily evacuated due to increased volcanic activity. At that time, Vanuatu Red Cross launched a DREF emergency response which was successful in reaching all displaced people. Assistance was provided in the form of distribution of non-food items (NFI), evacuation camp support, beneficiary registration and community awareness campaigns. The population returned to their island on the 22 October 2017 after three weeks living in evacuation centres and camps. The volcano’s activity was then downgraded to level 2.

On the 18 March 2018, the volcano alert level was raised again to level 3 and populations in West and South Ambae reported experiencing heavy ash fall which caused some local-style structures to collapse, contaminated water sources and destroyed food gardens. The government has since re-evacuated 606 people from the South of Ambae and moved them to evacuation centres in East Ambae, others have evacuated voluntarily from the island. The NDMO has registered a total of 696 displaced people since 18 March.