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Seismic, camera monitoring to help disaster management

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, March 6, 2012) – A five-year project is to begin in Vanuatu to provide early warning signs for volcanic eruptions.

The 400,000 U.S. dollar New Zealand aid project will see real-time seismic and camera monitoring on the Gaua, Tanna and Ambae volcanoes.

The information will then be transmitted to the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geohazards Department in Port Vila.

The head of the Volcanology Department at GNS Science in New Zealand, Gill Jolly, says the project is about increasing the capability of scientists on the island.

"The scientists back in Port Vila will be able to look at those data and be able to provide the National Disaster Management office with information in a very timely manner so that they can put in place responses to, if the activity is looking serious, evacuate people away from areas close to the volcano."

Gill Jolly says the project will also help the scientists communicate the message to residents.

She says there is also potential for this training to be transferred to other Pacific Islands that have volcanoes.

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