Evacuated Manam Islanders facing food shortages

4:22 pm on 2 June 2017

Over 800 people evacuated from the volcanic island of Manam are facing food shortages on Papua New Guinea's mainland.

The islanders were evacuated after the eruption alert level for the Manam volcano was raised to stage three in late April.

Manam volcano erupts spewing lava fragments and ash over the villages on Manam Island, off the north coast of Papua New Guinea, 04 December 1996.

The volcano erupts, spewing lava fragments and ash over villages on Manam Island, off the north coast of Papua New Guinea, 4 December 1996. Photo: POST COURIER / AFP

According to the newspaper The National, the islanders have been at the Potsdam Care Centre in Madang for almost a month.

Manam leader Paul Maburau said the Madang provincial disaster office gave each family a bail of rice, 5kg of flour and two litres of oil when they first arrived.

He said they had now run out of food and couldn't find any way of obtaining more.

Manam Volcano in Papua New Guinea's Madang province.

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

Mr Maburau said people at the care centre were also getting sick and the nearest health centre did not have any medical supplies.

Citing a lack of communication with the Madang government, he said the islanders were confused about whether they would be going back to the island or not.

Mr Maburau said he got two 200-litre containers of petrol from the provincial disaster office and used one to get food from the island on a dinghy but said that was not enough.

Manam Islanders evacuated due to volcanic activity on their island are staying at a care centre at Potsdam Harbour.

Photo: Google Maps

Some people, he explained, were starting to leave the care centre and return to the island because of food shortages and other problems.

Mr Maburau appealed to the government to provide a piece of land for them to do their own gardening.

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