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Archive for Saturday, December 10, 2005

Eruption of volcano eases, residents return

December 10, 2005

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— Thousands of residents ordered to evacuate this week because of the Vanuatu volcano eruption returned to their homes Friday because there was not enough to eat at the makeshift camps.

Returning residents said they also wanted to make sure no one was looting from their homes or stealing their pets.

Seismograph readings Friday showed that volcanic activity was dropping on Ambae Island's Mount Manaro, but the peak was still "trembling constantly," said Morris Harrison, a volcanologist monitoring the island nation.

Scientists said they now consider it unlikely that the eruption, which began Nov. 27, will intensify. A 10,000-foot plume of smoke, gas and ash billowing from the volcano's crater lake was obscured Friday by thick clouds.

The first shipload of aid arrived today on Vanuatu's Ambae Island. The shipment, funded by former islanders now living and working in the Vanuatu capital, Port Vila, included sacks of rice, tinned fish, sugar, noodles and fuel for vehicles, generators and lamps.

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