21 Jun 2007

PNG volcanic activity in East New Britain continues

3:07 pm on 21 June 2007

A leading vulcanologist in Papua New Guinea says there are no signs of another big eruption of Mount Tavurvur despite continued high level of activity.

The East New Britain volcano has been experiencing a high level of activity for the past few days.

However, the acting director of Rabaul Volcanic Observatory Herman Patia says there is no indication of any build-up that might lead to a big bang like last October.

The October the 7th blast caused windows some 12 kilometers away to shatter.

The latest activity between Tuesday and yesterday saw four main explosions which produced shockwaves that rattled windows of houses in Rabaul town and surrounding areas.

They also caused five high frequency earthquakes and dozens of low frequency tremors.

Mr Patia says the explosions also showered the flanks of the volcano with lava fragments.

The ash clouds from the explosions rose about two kilometres before being blown out to the northwest, resulting in moderate ash fall in Rabaul areas like Ratavul, Volavolo and Nonga villages.