Islanders flee Manam as volcano erupts

Thursday April 27, 2017 Written by Published in Regional

PAPUA NEW GUINEA – Evacuation warnings have been issued again for Papua New Guinea’s Manam Island as the island’s volcano continues to rumble and spew ash.

 

On Tuesday, The National reported the eruption alert level for the Manam volcano has been raised to stage three, a sign that people had to be moved off.

Officials from the Madang provincial disaster office have completed an on-site inspection  of the volcano and the island communities.

Madang provincial disaster director Rudolf Mongalee confirmed some damage caused by the heavy ash fall due to the heightened activities at the weekend.

He said however that it appered the island’s fresh waterssources were not affected.

“The people have over time become resilient and know how to cope in this sort of situation. They know to protect their water sources in times like this as well,” he said.

He confirmed receiving reports of some islanders fleeing the island, adding there was fear particularly of the loud thunderous sounds emanating from the volcano crater.

“We understand they have now sought refuge at the mainland at Potsdam and are likely to remain there until the activities subside,” he said.

Meanwhile, despite the increased seismic activities, experts at the Rabaul Volcano Observatory on Wednesday said they had retained the risk level at stage two.

“At present, the activity is considered small and is only affecting the upper parts of the volcano near the summit area but it should be noted that the volcanic systems are fluid and dynamic during an active eruptive phase and has the capability to change,” the observatory’s assistant director Ima Itikarai said.

The volcano, which dominates Manam Island off the mainland’s north-east coast, erupted eleven days ago.

            - PNC sources

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