19 Oct 2005

Scientists heading to assess eruptions at volcano in Papua New Guinea

2:51 pm on 19 October 2005

Scientists are heading towards the Mount Garbuna volcano in Papua New Guinea to try to ascertain why the mountain burst into life earlier this week, after hundreds of years of dormancy.

Officials in West New Britain province link the eruption of Mount Garbuna with the eruption of Mount Langila earlier this year.

Clive Waluka of the West New Britain disaster management office says a thousand people live in the village closest to the volcano.

Mr Waluka says 20,000 people live in the Talasea district and the main threat today is ashfall.

"It's not that dangerous, the only hazard right now is the dust falling, the dust coming out of it. It's not falling far from the top of the mountain but a little wind is carrying it down to the villages and the coast at the foot of the mountain."