Thursday, October 20, 2005

Papua New Guinea is on alert

In Papua New Guinea, volcano experts are closely monitoring the sudden eruption of a dormant volcano in the West New Britain province.

Mount Garbuna erupted on Sunday spewing fine ash and lava and threatening more than 20,000 local residents close to the volcano.

Local provincial authorities say people are taking all the necessary precautions and are prepared for evacuation if the volcanic eruptions get bigger.

District officer, Gawaga Ewabo, says there have been no reports of deaths or property damage.
He says Mt Garbuna is one of the province's seven active volcanoes located along the Pacific's active chain of volcanoes, known as the ring of fire.

Mr Ewabo says eruptions have intensified since Sunday sending fine ash into the nearby villages' water wells and there are fears drinking water may have been contaminated by sulphuric acid.
Our reporter in PNG, Firmin Nanol, says senior volcanologists have arrived in the West New Britain town of Kimbes to install monitoring equipment at the site.

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