Camera and transmission equipment have been installed on Pentecost Island in Vanuatu providing real time images of the currently active volcanic activity on the nearby island of Ambae.
The equipment, installed this month by a team from the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department (VMGD), will relay live images to their headquarters in Port Vila, allowing them to monitor and track daily any major activities on Ambae.
The camera, mounted on the transmission tower of the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) at Ena Village on Pentecost, captures footage overlooking Ambae from 50km away. With the system now in place, the team at VMGD can now can record live images of Ambae Lombenben and be able to detect volcanic activity.
“Volcanoes often exhibit precursory unrest and, when detected and analyzed in time, allows eruptions to be anticipated and communities at risk to be forewarned. The warning time preceding volcanic events typically allows sufficient time for affected communities to implement response plans and mitigation measures,” said Ms. Esline Garaebiti Bule, Director of Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department.
“On behalf of the Vanuatu Government, we acknowledge the level of support from our partner agencies such as the UNDP/RESPAC project, to fund the web camera and its installation and we hope to maintain this partnership for future technical assistance," she said.
“Strengthening early warning systems and climate monitoring capacity is a key component of the UNDP RESPAC Project. This partnership with the Government of Vanuatu allows for the use of technology to provide the most up-to-date information regarding volcanic activity on Ambae, information which is critical for the disaster response work by geo-hazards, meteorology, climate and disaster management officials,” said Mr. Bakhodir Burkhanov, the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji Resident Representative a.i.
With information from the imagery pictures, VMGD are in the better position to advice and inform the National Disaster Management Office of any imminent emergencies in relation to volcanic eruptions in the future.
The US$75,000 intervention consists of two specialized cameras and accessories for camera protection, power, data logger and data transmission systems, together with awareness materials for the effected communities.
The installation of the monitoring equipment is co-funded by the United Nations Development Programme’s Emergency Funding Window and the Disaster Resilience in Pacific Small Island States (RESPAC) project funded from the Russian Federation. The partnership with the Government of Vanuatu is part of the emergency response to the Ambae Lombenben volcanic eruption.
The Disaster Resilience for Pacific Small Island Developing States (RESPAC) project aims to improve Pacific SIDS resilience to climate-related hazards. The RESPAC project is financially supported by the Russian Federation-UNDP Trust Fund for Development.