Vanuatu's Council of Ministers has declared a state of emergency on Ambae due to the island's volcano spewing so much ash the island is becoming uninhabitable.
It is planning another mass evacuation.
Reports from the island say houses and trees are collapsing due to the weight of the ash while many locals have suffered a raft of health issues.
There has been increased activity from the Manaro Voui crater on Mt Lombenben for the past month, although the mountain remained active since last September's major eruption.
The director general of Vanuatu's Ministry of Climate Change and Natural Disaster, Jesse Benjamin, said people would be evacuated in a more orderly fashion compared to last time, with those from severely affected parts moved first.
Around 11,000 people returned to the island after last year's mandatory evacuation which was done amid fears there would be a bigger eruption.
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