The Stream, October 2: Islanders Evacuate After Vanuatu Volcano Dirties Drinking Water

The Global Rundown

Thousands of people evacuate from Ambae, Vanuatu as a volcanic eruption pollutes the island’s water supply. Earthquakes triggered by human activity are becoming more frequent, a recent analysis finds. Conditions continue to deteriorate on hurricane-struck Puerto Rico, where over half of the island’s residents are without clean drinking water. Another deluge hits Assam, India, which has struggled with repeated flooding for months. Water costs soar in war-torn South Sudan, where many spend up to a third of their wages on clean drinking water.

“My family struggles to survive. We spend most of our money on water.” –Mary Irene, a resident of Juba, South Sudan, in reference to the inflated cost of water in the country. Although water is readily available in South Sudan, the facilities needed to purify it are nearly nonexistent due to ongoing civil war and hyperinflation. This shortage forces many families to sacrifice other amenities in order to purchase clean water. Reuters

By The Numbers

55 percent Proportion of Puerto Ricans who do not have access to drinking water due to damages by Hurricane Maria, according to a weekend update by the U.S. Department of Defense. A Pentagon spokesperson said the Department of Defense is fast-tracking relief efforts to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The Hill

11,000 Number of people living on Ambae island, Vanuatu who are being evacuated after a volcanic eruption dirtied water sources, leaving islanders without safe drinking water. The Manaro Voui volcano started spewing burning ash and acid rain in September, and two small lava streams are now flowing across the island. Reuters

Science, Studies, And Reports

A growing number of entries are being listed in the Human-Induced Earthquake Database (HiQuake), the world’s most complete record of earthquakes triggered by human activity. According to a report by the Seismological Society of America, HiQuake now includes 730 entries. The most common manmade earthquake triggers were mining projects and water impounded behind dams. Science Daily

On The Radar

A fresh deluge hit Assam, India over the weekend, affecting 78,275 people and 16,000 animals. The state has suffered from ongoing floods, with three waves of flooding in September alone. A total of 160 people have died from flood-related incidents in Assam this year. NDTV