With Volcano Threatening Eruption, Direct Relief Sends Respiratory Supplies, Medical Aid to Vanuatu



A cloud of smoke from Manaro Voui volcano is seen on Vanuatu's northern island Ambae in the South Pacific, September 25, 2017 in this aerial picture. COURTESY THOMAS BOYER, VOLCANOLOGIST via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES - RC1374EF90A0

Thousands of residents have been evacuated as two volcanoes, one in Indonesia and one in Vanuatu, threaten to explode.

About 11,000 people living on the island of Ambae, part of the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu, have been ordered to evacuate by boat due to threat of explosion. Smoke billowed up from the volcano on Thursday, and officials said that the volcano had become increasingly active over the past week.

In Bali, Indonesia, a separate volcano could erupt, and a 12-kilometer zone around Mount Agung has also been evacuated, and more than 134,000 people are living in shelters after being evacuated from their homes.

On Thursday, Direct Relief sent a shipment of specifically requested supplies to healthcare facilities working in partnership with the Vanuatu Ministry of Health. Included in the shipment are N95 respiratory masks to help filter out particulates and ash in the air, as well as eye drops and other requested items.

Direct Relief has also been in communication with clinics in Bali and stands ready to assist as needed.

The islands impacted by the volcano are part of the “Ring of Fire” zone that encircles the Pacific Ocean and is prone to natural disasters like earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

Direct Relief has healthcare partners in the danger radius of both volcanoes and emergency response staff are maintaining close communications as the situation develops. Direct Relief has also reached out to the ASEAN Coordinating Center for Humanitarian Assistance, known as the AHA Center.

The AHA Center was created by ASEAN in 2011 to coordinate the collective response by ASEAN nations to disasters within the region.

Last fall, Direct Relief signed an agreement with the AHA Center to provide prepositioned emergency medical supplies for ASEAN’s collective response to local disasters.

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