20 Oct 2009

Alert level raised for Vanuatu volcano

8:33 pm on 20 October 2009

Volcanologists in Vanuatu have raised the alert level of the Gaua volcano in the far north.

The level was upgraded to two, from one, last week after volcanologists measured a rise in seismic ativity.

Volcanologist, Douglas Charley, says the volcano is going through an eruptive phase and his team is monitoring its activity closely.

"According to the data we were assuming that it would be wiser to lift the alert level to two. In that state of alert we ban all the visits near the crater for this volcano."

Douglas Charley says there's otherwise no danger yet for the residents, and the water on the island is still safe to drink.

The highest volcano alert level is five.