Volcanic eruption in Pacific island ends, tourist threat eases

The threat of a volcanic eruption on a small island on the Pacific island nation of Fiji has ended after a week of warnings from authorities.

Inflows of tourists resumed on Thursday in the capital city of Suva, despite warnings by the authorities that an eruption from the north of the island nation was likely to begin before the weekend.

Fiji Tourism spokesperson Lilika Clark told Fox News Travel that the situation has calmed down in recent days.

“It hasn’t really impacted us very much. The higher flow rate we had in the last couple of days, it was pretty steady and certainly not a disaster for us,” she said.

However, other coastal communities and infrastructure in the south of the main island, Nadi, were less fortunate and were evacuated. Many residents were sent to temporary shelters.

“We are seeing a gradual improvement. There is still some people that need to move but we are slowly moving people out of the danger areas,” Clark said.

Officials temporarily suspended flights to Nadi from the capital of New Zealand due to the warning but air traffic has since resumed.

The threat to tourist flows prompted the international community to send assistance. The U.S. military flew additional resources to Suva, including aid water treatment plants and medicine to help address the situation.

The number of tourists pouring into the country decreased after the warning, which was prompted by an increased amount of rock dust and ash being ejected by the volcano.

“I think some people took the warnings more seriously than others,” Clark said. “But tourism is still going to continue and it’s something that everyone is pretty comfortable with.”

Clark confirmed that local authorities have not recommended the suspension of flights to the north of the island but airport authorities have told airlines not to be alarmed.

“There is a high level of connectivity,” she said. “We don’t see this as being a huge impact but we have made sure that there’s always at least one aircraft at the airport that is able to get in and out of the airport to mitigate any of the potential issues that were raised.”

Additional details about the possible eruption and evacuation can be found at Fiji News.

Visitors can continue to watch the Pacific on Fox News Travel where we bring you real-time travel information, news and an insider’s guide to the most exciting destinations.

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