26 Oct 2004

PNG authorities monitor volcanic eruption aftermath

4:30 pm on 26 October 2004

Authorities in Papua New Guinea's Madang province are monitoring the aftermath of a volcanic eruption at the weekend.

Mount Iabu on the northern PNG island of Manam started throwing up lava and ash, prompting authorities to advise nearly 3,000 villagers to move to safer parts of the island.

The eruption sent thick clouds of smoke six thousand metres into the air and tonnes of lava flowing down the mountain side.

The Inter-Government Relations Minister, Sir Peter Barter, had a close look at the volcano shortly after the eruption occurred.

"I was flying my own helicopter and I got hit by a couple of rocks in the helicopter which gave me a bit of a fright. But fortunately the eruption has subsided"

Sir Peter Barter says he is going to Manam island today with a vulcanologist to assess whether the eruptions are going to continue.