August 29, 2014

PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Mount Tavurvur Volcano Erupted Overnight Spewing Rocks And Ash Into The Air And Local Communities Evacuated.

The Australian
written by AFP staff
Friday August 29, 2014

A VOLCANO has erupted in eastern Papua New Guinea, spewing rocks and ash into the air and forcing the evacuation of local communities, seismologists and reports said.

Mount Tavurvur, which destroyed the town of Rabaul when it erupted simultaneously with nearby Mount Vulcan in 1994, rumbled to life early in the morning on the tip of the island of New Britain.

“The eruption started slow and slowly developed in a Strombolian (low level) eruption with incandescent projections accompanied by explosion noises and ongoing loud roaring and rumbling noises,” the Rabaul Volcanological Observatory said.

The Australian government issued a warning against travelling to the area. “Authorities have evacuated communities close to the volcano. Residents of Rabaul town have been advised to remain indoors to avoid falling ash,” it said.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

The Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre in Darwin said the ash cloud was drifting southeast and had the potential to disrupt air travel.

“The eruption was to 60,000 feet, which is flight level. There was two hours of high level eruption,” said an official from the centre, Cyndee Feals.

“The ash was initially blowing to the southwest but has now turned to the southeast and we expect it to clip the edge of Australian airspace later today, but we don’t expect ash over Australia.”

She said planes may be forced to take alternate routes with the ash forecast to move towards the Solomon Islands and then Vanuatu in the Pacific.

Later, Qantas said it had made minor changes to its routes between Sydney and Narita and Sydney and Shanghai.

Flights QF21, QF22 and QF130 will fly over central PNG to avoid the cloud over Rabaul.

“The new flight paths won’t really impact the flight time,” a Qantas spokesperson said.

“It will be five minutes if anything.”

In Rabaul, the ground was covered in a layer of ash, local reports said.

“Police have cautioned people not to panic but remain indoors and listen to local Radio East New Britain for updates,” the PNGloop website said.

“The situation has eased except for the rumbling and roaring as rocks are shot into the air.”

The 688-metre volcano has erupted several times before, notably 20 years ago.

In 1994, major eruptions at both Tavurvur and nearby Mount Vulcan destroyed much of Rabaul, and while loss of life was minimal due to a quick evacuation, looters ransacked the town.

This time, police are taking no chances.

International Hotel operations manager Rodney Aua said police were out in force to prevent any looting as businesses closed their doors.

“In Rabaul some people have closed their businesses and are moving to areas as far away as possible,” he said.

“The police are there to make sure looting doesn’t happen again, like in 1994.”

Despite the volcano continuing to rumble, Aua said the hotel still had 50 per cent occupancy and for locals it was just another day in PNG, which sits on the Pacfiic “Ring of Fire” and where high volcanic and seismic activity is the norm.

“The situation is pretty calm,” he said. “For locals most of us have grown up here and this is normal, although we haven’t seen this sort of activity for a while.”


Frontier Post
written by Staff
Sunday August 3, 2014

A magnitude 6.6 earthquake struck off the coast of Manus Island in Papua New Guinea on Saturday, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

No tsunami was expected, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.The quake´s epicenter was in the ocean 213 miles (343 km) northwest of Lorengau on Manus Island. It occurred at a depth of 8.3 miles (13.4 km), the USGS said.


written by Staff
Sunday August 3, 2014


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