6 Jul 2005

Manam islanders return after PNG volcano eruptions forced them out

1:43 pm on 6 July 2005

Reports from Papua New Guinea say some Manam Islanders have returned to their homes after being evacuated last year because of volcanic eruptions.

The acting director of Papua New Guinea's National Disaster Centre, Martin Mose, says some are heading back to the island group but do so at their own risk.

The entire population of Manam Island was evacuated to mainland care centres last year, because of ongoing volcanic eruptions that contaminated the air, food crops and water sources.

Mr Mose says although volcanic activity has lessened significantly since then, people should remain in the care centres.

He says he knows of people who have returned.

"Not direct to Manam island but the nearby small islands. At this point in time we don't consider it 100 percent safe for people to return back to the main island until further notice."

Martin Mose from PNG's National Disaster Centre.