28 Aug 2002

More volcanic fears for PNG island

4:36 pm on 28 August 2002

People in the Papua New Guinea province of West New Britain are on alert after activity on Mt Ulavun intensified and the area was hit by a small tremor.

The province has already been affected by the smoke, ash and lava emitted from Mt Pago, over the past three weeks.

The Mt Pago eruption has displaced over 12-thousand villagers.

Villagers in Bialla near Mt Ulavun have not been evacuated but have been put on standby in case activity intensifies further.

An unmeasured earthquake also struck the region yesterday morning, but authorities have yet to connect the seismic activity with that of the two volcanoes.

Martin Moses from the National Disaster Management Office says while there is concern, the people of West New Britain are resilient.

"They're used to the situation especially the mount ulavun, because that's been active for quite a while now and the people around the area are probably accustomed to it as well already so, of course we can say that they are quite concerned about it, but at the same time, the people are pretty aware of what can be expected."

Martin Moses.