18 Dec 2018

Vanuatu eruption sparks series of quakes

2:35 pm on 18 December 2018

A volcanic eruption on Vanuatu's Ambrym Island has sparked a series of minor earthquakes that have opened cracks around the island.

Cracks in a building on Vanuatu's Ambrym Island

Cracks in a building on Vanuatu's Ambrym Island Photo: Facebook / YUMI TOKTOK STRET

The volcano, which had had a level two warning on it from the Vanuatu Geo-Hazards Department, erupted on December 15.

The department raised the alert level to three, which denotes a minor eruption.

The department's Melinda Aru said they had issued a word of caution to people on the south east part of Ambrym about the threat posed by the eruption.

She said since the eruption there had been a number of tremors of up to five on the Richter scale, which have caused some houses to collapse.

"They range from two point two to five point something in magnitude and they are very shallow and that is why they have caused a lot of cracks and damages to some of the temporary buildings or permanent buildings, mostly on the south east part of Ambrym."