24 May 2007

Experts to check PNG's Ritter Island after weekend eruptions

4:04 pm on 24 May 2007

A team of experts in Papua New Guinea is heading to Ritter island to assess its volcano, which erupted last weekend, forcing hundreds of people on Siassi Island to higher ground.

The Morobe Provincial Administrator, Manasupe Zurenuoc, says a team of five is expected to arrive late tonight with a team from the Rabaul volcanic observatory joining them tomorrow morning.

He says it will take a while for the team from Morobe to arrive because their preferred transport wasn't available.

"We're travelling by boat because we are unable to get helicopters. No helicopters are available to meet the requirements to fly over water. That's been a difficulty in the last couple of days. The number of houses damaged could be more than we what we first anticipated but we can't clearly say the population figures until we get these figures this evening."

Manasupe Zurenuoc has also confirmed that there were no casualties.