Local elections postponed in volcano-affected areas of PNG

2:37 pm on 2 July 2019

Local government elections in areas affected by volcanic eruptions in Papua New Guinea will be postponed.

Mt Ulawun.

Mt Ulawun. Photo: Eroli Tamara

Thousands of people have been displaced by the eruption of Mt Uluwan in West New Britain, while about hundred people have been evacuated from Manam Island in Madang.

The nomination period for local elections was due to end on Thursday, but the electoral commissioner, Patilias Gamato, said this would likely be extended for affected areas.

Meanwhile, PNG's national disaster office said it's still waiting for reports from West New Britain about what national help is required.

Its director Martin Mose told the newspaper, The National, a team can be sent from Port Moresby once they get reports from the provincial office.

But a West New Britain MP, Sasindran Muthuvel, said they shouldn't need a report, as the disaster is nationally known.

Mr Mose said two containers of supplies had been sent to the affected area.

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