26 Oct 2004

PNG authorities monitor volcanic eruption aftermath

2:07 pm on 26 October 2004

Authorities in Papua New Guinea's Madang province will travel to Manam island today to assess the likelihood of further volcanic eruptions.

Mount Iabu erupted at the weekend, sending thick clouds of smoke six thousand metres into the air and tonnes of lava flowing down the mountain side.

Although there are no reports of injuries or death, the eruption prompted authorities to advise nearly 3,000 villagers to move to safer parts of the island.

The Inter-Government Relations Minister, Sir Peter Barter, visited the island with the Prime Minister yesterday.

Sir Peter says the eruption appears to have subsided but there has been a heavy fallout of rocks and ash on some parts of the island and villagers will need food and water.

"I'm going over there today with the vulcanologist to make an assessment to see whether or not the eruptions are going to continue for some time, or they think they're going to continue for some time, or whether or not it just came up with a big bang and is going to go back to normal."

Sir Peter Barter.