Australian Navy Underway To Help Evacuate 11,000 From Vanuatu Volcano

Royal Australian Navy's Landing Ship Dock, HMAS CHOULES
The Royal Australian Navy’s Landing Ship Dock, HMAS CHOULES, is seen at anchor off the coast of Bougainville during Operation RENDER SAFE 14. Image Via Royal Australian Navy

By Garfield Clinton Reynolds (Bloomberg) Australia is sending a naval vessel to help Vanuatu in its efforts to evacuate 11,000 residents from Ambae Island as a volcano there threatens to erupt.

 The HMAS Choules left Australia on Saturday morning and is expected to arrive in the middle of next week, the Australian government said in an emailed statement. The Choules is carrying specialists, supplies and a landing craft. Australia has committed A$250,000 ($196,000) to provide supplies and sent a team of humanitarian and military experts due to arrive Saturday.

In Vanuatu, a fleet of ships including ferries and commercial vessels has begun moving people from Ambae to nearby islands. The Choules can carry more than 300 troops, along with landing craft, tanks and trucks, as well as operating Navy helicopters, according to the Australian Navy’s website.

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