The Indonesian island of Bali and Ambae island, east of northern Australia have been completely evacuated, as fear for human life rises. Both islands sit on the Ring of Fire which is an area of intense seismic activity. It stretches 25,000 miles from New Zealand to South America.

Worrying activity

Over the past week, rumblings, smoke, and ash were seen coming from the Marano volcano, also known as Lombenben in Vanuatu. Most of the island's 11,000 residents were taken away by boat, while others were airlifted to evacuation shelters on the nearby Maewo and Pentecost islands in the Pacific.

Persons situated in local villages have been warned of the dangers of flying debris. Vanuatu's Meteorology and Geohazards Department said: "flying rocks, Volcanic gases and acid rain" could be expected. The last time such a large evacuation took place on Ambae Island was in 2005. On Bali, more than 134,000 people have also been relocated since the Mount Agung volcano in the north could blow at any time.

Australia extends a helping hand

Thousands of residents who evacuated days ago, complain of "existing in limbo" and say they just want to go home. One 65-year-old man, Wayan, speaking to CNN said he was also forced to abandon his home many years ago. He reminisced that Mount Agung last erupted in 1963, killing 1,700 people and destroying several villages.

Although no one can be certain when either volcano will erupt or the extent of the devastation, Australia has already pledged its help. Government officials say it has promised up to $190,000 in "much-needed supplies like food, water, shelter and hygiene kits for affected communities on Ambae." It is also funding critical surveillance flights over the volcanoes.

Tourists are still welcome

In a surprise move, tourists are still being encouraged to Bali despite the evacuations. Deputy Minister for Overseas Tourism Development Marketing, I Gde Pitana assured all foreigners that "the island is still safe to visit."

He added that if necessary, the Government will "issue official statements every six hours, three hours, or even hourly." Despite his welcome, correspondents note that many resorts on the affected island have closed, while only a few remain open.

Tourism is Bali's most lucrative industry, and business owners are worried about their future, should tragedy strike.

Mexicans fear another disaster

While residents of the Pacific nations prepare for imminent disaster, Mexicans continue to grapple with the forces of nature. Three large earthquakes hit the country in September, killing hundreds and officials warned that the Popocatepetl volcano near Mexico City was showing signs of activity on Thursday.

The National Disaster Prevention Center said a village at its base was "showered with ash and flaming rocks spewed to distances of up to one kilometer." It added that eruptions take place about twice a year and are not seen as a major threat. However, given the severity of recent earthquakes in Mexico, officials are being extra vigilant.