7 Dec 2004

PNG's Disaster Centre says evacuation of Manam Island halted temporarily

7:41 am on 7 December 2004

The director of Papua New Guinea's National Disaster Centre says the transporting of more than 9,000 evacuees from Manam Island to care centres on the mainland has been temporarily halted.

About 3,000 people have yet to be moved from Manam Island, where a volcano has been emitting ash for weeks..

Colonel Eric Ani says the barge transporting people from the island, needed maintenance.

"Unfortunately, these had to come to a stop. The ship has been pulled aside to do a bit of rehabilitation itself, to wash down and clean up and then when its done the ship will resume evacuating people."

Colonel Eric Ani says the ship is expected to be in operation from today.