Ambae evacuation complete

Ambae evacuees who had just arrived on the boat in the background getting their names registered. Picture: RNZ

PORT VILA, 14 AUGUST 2018 (VANUATU DAILY POST) – The evacuation of the people of Ambae to Maewo and Santo in Vanuatu is now complete, said Director General of the Ministry of Climate Change and Natural Disasters (MOCC), Jesse Benjamin.

‚ÄúThere are no more people on Ambae,” DG Benjamin told Daily Post after accompanying Vanuatu Mobile Force (VMF) officers and the Deputy Police Commissioner on MV Tukoro, for a last trip to the island.

The force members were deployed to get people off the island. Evacuation was ordered following a state of emergency which will end on September 26.

The affected families from Lolopuepue in north Ambae made the trip over the weekend. An estimated 2,600 people are now on Maewo.

But the figure is expected to increase as the Senior Provincial Liaison and Coordination Officer of the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO), Philip Meto, conveyed that some of the evacuees who had voluntarily moved to other islands like Santo have indicated they want to go to Maewo.

Meto coordinated evacuation on west Ambae, he said approximately 1,860 people from the area have moved to Santo. The number of voluntary evacuees in other areas is yet to be determined.

The number of evacuation centres are slowly increasing as evacuees disembarked on Maewo. The Government through its clusters are working to ensure food, water and hygiene kits and tarpaulins reach the people.

Evacuees are seeking temporary shelter with communities as they wait to move into permanent relocation sites.

The government has assured that it will evacuate the people to Maewo and continue to care for them until they recover.

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