THOUSANDS EVACUATED IN DEADLY PNG ERUPTION

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, Nov. 29) – The evacuation of villagers from Papua New Guinea’s Manam Island is continuing as the island’s volcano continues to erupt.

Provincial and emergency authorities began evacuating the island’s 9,000 people over the weekend, using a barge to move people to care centers on Bogia, on the north coast of Madang, after two people died from ash-related causes.

A vulcanologist, Herman Patia says the volcano began erupting last month, pouring ash and scoria onto villages and food crops and contaminating water sources.

Ash is two to three meters deep in some places.

Mr Patia says a major eruption from the volcano is still a possibility, especially after it began erupting again last week, and worsened on Friday.

"Most of the villagers on the from the east to the north east, houses have collapsed as a result of heavy ash and scoria fall during the past week."

Local authorities say some of the evacuees might not be able to return for years and others will have to be permanently resettled on the mainland.

November 29, 2004

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

 

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