Families evacuated from Ambae living with relatives must register to make known their whereabouts in order to receive aid, said the Disaster Operations Manager at the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO), Peter Korisa.

With aid, the concentration now is on those in the evacuation centres.

Registering into evacuation centres makes it easier for the government, through NDMO to meet immediate needs such as water and food.

An unknown number of people voluntarily moved to settle with families in Port Vila and Santo following evacuation orders.

These families and their hosts, particularly those in Port Vila, are urged to sign up or make known where there are staying to make work easier for disaster authorities when sharing and distributing aid.

Thirteen days after the government issued mandatory evacuation, authorities are still trying to get all accurate data regarding families that were forcefully displaced by the volcano.

However, NDMO is grateful that humanitarian agencies are sharing information.

Mr Korisa said they are hoping to have the assessment finalised sometimes today (Friday).

The International Organization for Migration, a United Nations migration urgency is assisting the country to assess the emergency situation.

Korisa said: “We have no clear data for those on Pentecost and Maewo. But, we have been sending them food.

“Ships or planes carrying humanitarian assistance when departing Port Vila have to go through Santo before Pentecost and Maeowo.

“Santo is hosting the biggest number of evacuees.

“So far, 51 evacuation centres have been set up housing over 5,000 people.”

Regarding the current confusion situation of evacuees not sleeping at evacuation centres but elsewhere, Mr Korisa said aid will not be release unless they approach them (disaster authorities) and register.

Asked about lack of food concerns in evacuation centres, Korisa said the government is working closely with the Ministry of Agriculture to engage farmers on Santo to feed evacuees.

“We are providing them local food as well as disaster food like rice and canned food. The only thing is that local food is not free,” he added.

NDMO is advising partner agencies such as the Vanuatu Humanitarian Team (VHT) members, associations, faith-based groups, communities and individuals who are assisting the response process to work with the government led mechanism in place to deliver much needed relief and assistance to affected people.

NDMO assured it will ensure all assistance reach affected families.

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