25 Oct 2004

Volcano in PNG's Madang province erupts sending clouds six thousand metres high

4:10 pm on 25 October 2004

A volcano in Papua New Guinea's Madang province has erupted sending thick clouds of smoke six thousand metres into the air and tonnes of lava flowing down the mountain side.

The Post Courier newspaper quotes the Inter-Government Relations Minister, Sir Peter Barter, as saying it was the largest eruption of the mountain he had ever seen.

Sir Peter had a close look at the volcano from his private helicopter shortly after the eruption occurred.

The minister told the newspaper there was no immediate threat to the seven thousand inhabitants of Manam Island, but it looked as though the lava had engulfed food gardens on its flanks.

He said a side of the mountain, about a kilometre wide, had blown out and lava was flowing into the sea.