21 Aug 2002

More care centres set up in PNG for volcano victims

5:58 pm on 21 August 2002

People are still flooding into care centres set up in Papua New Guinea's West New Britain province as lava, ash plumes and explosions continue from Mt Pago volcano.

Fred Raka from the provincial office says two more care centres have had to be added to the five existing centres to look after an estimated 12,000 people who have fled their villages.

Mr Raka says it will be at least three months before people will be able to return home.

"There is still spewing of ashes and ash plumes, into the air, continuous explosions , lava flows around the caldera of the volcano, Our volcano expert say the eruptions are expected to continue for sometime and it is not letting up as yet."

Mr Raka says an urgent request has been made to the national government for money to be released to run the care centres.

He says the priority is to ensure safe water supplies and proper sanitation facilities for the new care centres.