Public Issue

Ambae Evacuees Head Back to Island Home After Volcano Emergency Ends

The rumbling Monaro Volcano that initiated the evacuation of the entire population of Ambae has quieted for the time being, and residents have been given the green light by government officials to return to their island homes.

In response to that evacuation, contents of a well-stocked LDS Charities’ emergency container were made available to the government of Vanuatu for distribution to evacuees.



“The container included more emergency material than most of the largest stores in Port Vila,” said Peter Sackley, who is serving a full-time humanitarian mission with his wife, Kelly.  

LDS Charities, a Humanitarian Arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also partnered with the Vanuatu Society for People with Disability (VSPD), providing mobility devices to those evacuees housed in a Latter-day Saint chapel in Luganville, Santo. 


LDS Charities provided funding for two VSPD staff members who flew to Luganville and worked for over a week providing relief to the disabled. 

Representing 4% of Vanuatu’s population, the residents of Ambae were moved away from the danger, housed, fed and cared for on other islands without major incident thanks to the combined efforts of government, church and cooperating charitable organisations. Residents are now returning to assess the damage and pick up the pieces of their everyday life.

“The situation in Ambae will continue to be problematic,” Elder Sackley says.

“the country has been very dry and some crops will have died due to neglect. Animals will have died or be missing, and the water problem they already had will have only become bigger.”

Despite the obvious problems, Elder Sackley praised the efforts extended to those whose lives had been disrupted.


“I found that the work of Latter-day Saints in Santo has been amazing. They have worked tirelessly to help those with greatest need.  I have found many examples of true sacrifice.  I am confident that faith was built and strengthened through the sacrifice given in this effort.”

Watch a short video on Latter-day Saint Humanitarian Services:


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