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Evac as volcano heats up

An erupting volcano has forced 6,000 people to flee their homes on an island in the Pacific nation of Vanuatu.

The Manaro volcano on Ambae island has been active since 2005, but a recent increase in activity has raised fears of a major eruption.

Shadrack Welegtabit, the director of Vanuatu's National Disaster Management Office, said Tuesday that Vanuatu would declare an emergency on the island after the volcano's activity measure was raised to Level 4 for the first time over the weekend.

"There's ash, fire, stones and lava being thrown out from the mouth of the volcano," Welegtabit said. "There's a lot of activity going on."

He said that it's difficult to say whether there will be a major eruption, and that those who have been evacuated will just have to sit and wait.

About 10,000 people live on the island, Welegtabit said, and those in the north and south are most vulnerable. He said those villagers have been moved into schools and community halls in the island's eastern and western regions.



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