PNG eruption may lead to breathing problems

1:49 pm on 4 August 2015

Disaster officials in Madang Province in Papua New Guinea say there are concerns locals may suffer respiratory problems after the eruption of Manam Volcano on Friday.

Manam Volcano in Papua New Guinea's Madang province.

Manam Volcano in Papua New Guinea's Madang province. Photo: AFP

A team sent to survey the impact reported a layer of ash up to two centimetres thick covering much of Manam Island.

The head of Provincial Disaster Management, Danny Aloi, says a child who was hit in the head with pellets blown out of the volcano is the only person known to have been hurt by the explosion.

Mr Aloi says the ash has ruined crops and created a food and water shortage on the island.

"We are now in the process of adressing the issues, most importantly the issue of clean water supply and some medical supplies. The national disaster centre is very much aware of it. There is a team that is going back to assess that."

In November 2004, a major eruption killed five people and forced the emergency evacuation of over 9000 residents.

Many of them are still living in temporary housing on the mainland.