23 Apr 2014

Bougainvilleans urged to stay on higher ground

4:47 am on 23 April 2014

Disaster officials in Papua New Guinea's Bougainville are calling on people in coastal areas to stay on higher ground as the threat from earthquakes continues.

People on the coast in the south of the main island sought higher ground on Saturday after the latest of a series of major tremors.

Don Wiseman reports.

"Saturday's quake did result in flooding in several villages. The provincial disaster co-ordinator, Franklin Lacey, says the geophysics advice they have received from Port Moresby is that more tremors are likely this week and people need to be away from the coast. He says a few houses, a church building and a school were toppled by the quake which measured 7.5 and was centred in the south. Mr Lacey says they are still waiting for full reports of the impact of the latest quake - the 4th in a little over a week - but there have been a number of slips which have blocked roads and swamped food gardens. There is one report of a woman being injured. And Mr Lacey says people in South Bougainville have also reported that Mr Loloru, a 1800 metre high volcano has begun to emit steam or smoke. He says they are not concerned at this point but are sending staff to check it out. Loloru is last believed to have erupted 3 thousand years ago."