Vanuatu govt extends Ambae State of Emergency

Mate Ma'a Tonga boasts some of the best players in the sport, including Cowboys lock Jason Taumalolo and Cronulla prop Andrew Fifita. Picture: RNZ

The State of Emergency for the Vanuatu island of Ambae has been extended for a further two months.

Most of the island’s population has been evacuated after the volcano at its centre erupted, blanketing it in ash.

The Prime Minister, Charlot Salwai, said the declaration was due to end at the end of the month, and an extension is necessary to allow the evacuees to acclimatise to their relocated homes.

Most of the island’s population is on the nearby islands of Santo and Maewo.

Meanwhile, an independent report is urging the government to handle the evacuation carefully, as some youths on Maewo are beginning to express resentment at the presence of some 2000 Ambaeans.

The report warned that if it is not handled well, similar tensions could develop to that which happened with the influx of Malaitans onto Guadalcanal, in Solomon Islands.

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