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Dunkirk-style evacuation as Vanuatu volcano pollutes drinking water

Alison Bevege, Reuters on October 01, 2017

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Vanuatu has launched a Dunkirk-style evacuation on the northern island of Ambae as a flotilla of boats rescues islanders from an erupting volcano that has polluted many of the island's sources of drinking water.

Crowds of islanders from at least three evacuation points on the island have begun boarding ferries, canoes and commercial vessels for the safety of surrounding islands Maewo, Pentecost and Santo.

Reuters reporter Ben Bohane, on location in Ambae, said he saw people camping on a hillside at the town of Lolowai waiting calmly for ships to ferry them to safety.

"There were big sacks of rice and boxes of tinned fish," he said.

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