17 Jul 2006

PNG volcanoes threaten New Britain villages

5:53 pm on 17 July 2006

Papua New Guinea's National Disaster office has appealed to people living near a volcano in New Britain to evacuate.

Scientists warn that the volcano Mt Karai, near the town of Bialla could erupt.

Up to 250 families have reportedly been evacuated from nearby villages.

Disaster officials say high levels of tremors in the area have been reported and up to 700 people moved to camps away from the danger zone.

The director of the National Disaster office, Eric Ani, says West New Britain disaster officials are monitoring the situation and getting people prepared.

He says as part of preparation, local people should listen to what disaster officials tell them.

"There are situations where have gone through in the past in Papua New Guinea where people do not listen to authorities for their wellbeing - they still remain in the locations. And I've got no doubt in my mind that this will be the situation again here."

The director of the PNG National Disaster office, Eric Ani