16 Dec 2005

Water shortage looming for those fleeing erupting volcano in Vanuatu

3:36 pm on 16 December 2005

Officials in Vanuatu say people displaced by Ambae volcano are threatened by a shortage of fresh water.

Thousands of litres of water have already been handed out to the 3-thousand people forced to move to relocation centres by continuing volcanic eruptions.

The chairman of the Port Vila Manaro Disaster Committee, Jean Sese, says if further ashfall poisons existing water tanks, more water will be needed.

"There is already sign that water on the island has already been affected by ashes. They're tapping water from the bore holes, they will certainly need more water. The Red Cross has been providing water, but not enough."

Mr Sese says a second shipment of relief supplies compiled by private donors, is expected to head to Ambae within days.