Security Message: Ambryn Volcano Alert in Vanuatu

Exclusion Zone

U.S. Embassy Port Moresby advises U.S. citizens visiting or residing in Vanuatu that there in an increased danger of the Ambrym Volcano erupting.

The Vanuatu Meteorology and Geohazards Department have issued a national advisory to the whole country and particularly to visitors and people of Ambrym that volcanic activity has increased from Level 2 to Level 3.

At this Alert Level, volcanic activity is likely to increase to a minor eruptive activity or a decrease to a simple level of unrest at any time from any of the active craters of Benbow and Marum (including Maben-Mbwelesu, Niri-Mbwelesu and Mbwelesu). The area of risk remains in the caldera.

Danger Zone A and B at Ambrym volcano are closed (and shouldn’t be accessed – See photo).

It is strongly recommended that all visitors observe this volcano from beyond the Danger Zones A and B, which is about 2 km radius from Benbow and about 3 km radius from Marum to avoid volcanic projectiles, gases, ashes and any other volcano activity related incidents. Volcanic gas and ashes can also affect villages that are exposed to trade winds.

It is very important that you seriously consider this information and DO NOT VISIT the volcano until activity has decreased to Level 1.

This increase in activity may also affect the local communities’ food gardens and water. In addition, it may potentially pose some of the following risks to communities close to the volcano:

  • Ash-fall
  • Acid Rain
  • Lava Flow
  • Sulphur Gas
  • Mud Flow

We will continue to monitor the updates from the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geohazards Department and provide updates as necessary.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in our Consular district (Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands or Vanuatu) enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at travel.state.gov to receive the latest security updates. By enrolling, you make it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in case of an emergency.  If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate or consular agency.

Stay up-to-date by bookmarking our Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution.  Read the Country Specific Information and follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook.

You can obtain updated information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays.

The U.S. Embassy in Port Moresby is located on Douglas Street, National Capital District and is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., 675-321-1455 or 675-321-0289.  If you are a U.S. citizen in need of urgent assistance, the emergency number for the U.S. Embassy is 675-7200-9439.