18 Oct 2005

Volcano erupts in PNG's West New Britain

2:46 pm on 18 October 2005

Experts from the Rabaul Volcano Observatory in Papua New Guinea are being rushed to Talasea district in West New Britain province to assess the sudden eruption of dormant Mt Garbuna volcano at the weekend.

The National newspaper quotes a report from the West New Britain Provincial Disaster Office that Mt Garbuna started erupting late Sunday evening and continued into Monday morning when it subsided.

However, another report from the disaster office last night says volcanic activity intensified again yesterday afternoon.

The paper quotes provincial disaster office director, Major Paul Kaliop, as saying ash from the mountain fell on Garu village and its surroundings, contaminating water sources.

It says more than 20,000 people in the Talasea district could be affected by any further eruption.