SYDNEY: One of Papua New Guinea’s most active volcanoes has begun to erupt, authorities said Tuesday, pummeling villages on a remote island with volcanic rock.
Manam island is a volcanic cone that towers out of the sea north of the Papua New Guinea mainland and has a history of eruptions, with major activity in November 2004 forcing the evacuation of some 9,000 people.
The volcano has erupted a number of times since then and spewed lava and ash last month.
A series of tremors around Manam triggered a warning system on Monday and the volcano began erupting shortly after, the Rabaul Volcanological Observatory said.
The eruption continued into early Tuesday, Ima Itikarai of the observatory said.
An observatory report shared with local news website Loop PNG said the latest eruption came from the main crater, with lava channeled into a nearby valley and “intermittent bursts” of volcanic rock falling on villages.
Papua New Guinea has many volcanoes, particularly on its offshore islands, as the country lies at the junction of two tectonic plates.
Some islanders who were evacuated from Manam 15 years ago and resettled elsewhere on Papua New Guinea recently complained they were still struggling with their new lives, The National newspaper reported.