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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Feb. 5) – Mt. Tavurvur in Papua New Guinea’s East New Britain province continues to erupt—sending out thick gray ashes to a height of 1.5 kilometers.

[PIR editor’s note: East New Britain comprises the north and eastern part of New Britain island, which is located northeast of the Papua New Guinea mainland peninsula. According to PIR files, Mount Tavurvur erupted last October with a blast that shattered windows up to 12 kilometers away and around 200 people in nearby villages were evacuated by boats as the 700-metre peak spewed ash, rock and smoke up to 18 kilometers into the air.]

Experts said Kokopo and Tokua airport would experience ash falls if the wind changed direction and blows southeast.

Rabaul Volcano Observatory acting assistant director Herman Patia said the emission consisted of continuous moderate dark gray ash clouds rising to about 1.5 kilometers above the summit before being blown to the east of the volcano. He said that if the wind changed direction to southeast, ash falls were expected to reach Tokua and even Kokopo.

Mr. Patia said from about the midday, the emission changed to thin white vapor accompanied by occasional pale gray ash clouds drifting east of the volcano.

He said the seismic activity was at low level changing to moderate level at times.

The seismic activity was dominated by low frequency events and about 100 tremors were recorded at RAL station last Thursday morning, he added.

Mr. Patia said 11 of those low frequency quakes were large enough to be recorded at TAL and SDA stations.

He urged people not to venture close to the volcano because lava fragments from occasional explosion could hit them.

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