Vanuatu - Lopevi Volcanic Eruption

NOTICE

OCHA Situation Report No. 1
Vanuatu - Lopevi Volcanic Eruption
June 8, 2001

The Vanuatu National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) provided the following information, through the OCHA Regional Disaster Response Advisor for the Pacific in Suva, Fiji.

Situation and Impact

1. On 8 June 2001 Lopevi volcano in Vanuatu erupted and its thick ash fall covered all over nearby Paama Island. It is reported that Paama Island turned to darkness at around 15.00 hrs (local time) on 8 June. The ash fall is causing concern to the whole population of Paama Island. The activity is associated with strong southeast winds currently affecting the Vanuatu Group.

2. Lopevi forms a small island in Vanuatu and has erupted at least 22 times since 1863, most recently in 1982.

3. There is a potential high risk in the following areas:

4. Lopevi volcanic activity, together with strong southeast winds, very rough sea conditions and salty rain, is posing potential risks to the local communities with regard to water, food, environmental impact and transportation. It is reported that helicopters cannot land due to poor visibility in the areas, and, therefore, only limited relief will be available locally.

National and International Response

5. The NDMO is monitoring the situation in cooperation with the Geology Department. All national resources are on standby for possible assistance. Public media releases as well as community warning have been issued.

6. Geologists, volcanologists and seismologists are on standby to be deployed to Lopevi to conduct on-site monitoring and risk assessment.

7. The Vanuatu Government is coordinating arrangements for possible assistance from the Australian Government.

8. OCHA is in contact with relevant government authorities in Vanuatu through its Regional Disaster Response Advisor for the Pacific, and will revert with further information when available.

9. This situation report, together with information on other ongoing emergencies, is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at http://www.reliefweb.int 

Telephone: +41-22-91712 34 Fax: +41-22-917 00 23 E-mail: ochagva@un.org 

In case of emergency only: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10

Desk Officers (OCHA Disaster Response Branch): Mr. R. Mueller / Mr. S. Matsuka Direct Tel. +41-22-917 31 31 / 40 34

Distributed by

Center for International Disaster Information Volunteers in Technical Assistance Web: www.cidi.org  Comments/suggestions/requests to: incident@cidi.org 

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