Heavy ash fall affects Ambae

PORT VILA – Vanuatu communities in the west and southern part of Ambae surrounding Lombenben volcano are suffering badly from periodic ash fall.

People may need to shelter livestock and water tanks as the Lombenben volcano continues to emit ash.

Volcanic ash can threaten human health and is very harmful to vegetation, crops and plants, animals and infrastructure.

The most populated areas on Ambae is west. The impacts of ash fall there is likely greater.

Destruction caused by the ash fall in affected areas is described as literally similar to a cyclone wiping out trees and crops. Its weight caused plants and crops in the gardens like banana, manioc (casava) and cabbage to collapse.

Destruction done by volcanic ash on people, plants and crops depend largely on its thickness. The ash on Ambae were reportedly thick.

Though it may cause health problems to livestock and human such as skin irritation and eye problem, volcanic ash can make the soil fertile or rich.

Responsible authorities have been advising communities near the volcano exposed to trade winds to prepare for ash falls during eruptions or any increased activity.