Mt Ulawun

Collaborative relief efforts underway following eruption

The relief effort was carried out by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the National Disaster Centre (NDC), and the Provincial disasters of WNB and ENB. 

This alliance has successfully transported crucial relief supplies, including water containers, soap, cooking utensils, sleep mats, cleaning tools, and solar lights, to care centres in the affected regions.

Australia provides support to eruption-impacted communities

In response to Papua New Guinea's request for support and the priorities identified by the West New Britain Provincial Disaster Office, Australia deployed a Royal Australian Air Force C-130J Hercules aircraft to assist with the airlift of emergency relief supplies to West New Britain.

The eruption, which took place on November 20th, has affected more than 26,000 people in surrounding communities, with up to 9,000 of them internally displaced and residing in care centres in West New Britain and East New Britain provinces.

13,000 displaced as relief efforts underway

Reports from the Provincial Disaster Committee indicate a critical need for water and food supplies among those affected. Acknowledging this urgency, Governor Sasindran Muthuvel has directed the dispatch of relief supplies starting today, in collaboration with New Britain Palm Oil Limited and Hargy Oil Palms Limited.

Mt Ulawun Still Active

This is as reported by the Volcanological Observatory Geohazards Management Division.

A substantial ash cloud, extending tens of kilometres northwest of the volcano, is presently primarily affecting areas over the sea. Throughout the reporting period, low roaring and booming noises persisted, and moderate to heavy ash fall occurred in downwind regions near the volcano.

Mt Ulawun erupts – seismicity remains high

A report from the Department of Mineral Policy and Geohazards Management states that originally the ash plume was blowing towards the west and northwest with ash fall affecting the Navo area. However, it has now shifted direction, impacting the Ulamona Mission area due to a change in wind direction. 

The maximum height of the ash plume remains a concern, posing potential risk to areas in the west to north-northwest direction.

Communities in these areas are experiencing moderate to high exposure to ash fall.

Residents on alert as volcano erupts

Acting CEO for Nakanai DDA, Jefferey Osa told Loop PNG that the situation at the moment is normal with people staying on alert and awaiting further instructions from the Rabaul Volcano Observatory.

Nakanai District Development Authority is on standby to assist the nearby villages of Ulamona if the volcano erupts again.

He said the DDA met with other stakeholders as well as the Provincial Disaster Team instructions have been given to set a forward base at the Nakanai District headquarters in Bialla.

Mt Ulawun Eruption Activity Low

The Department of Mineral Policy and Geohazards Management shared this information on their Volcano Information Bulletin.

The activity was stated as continuous forceful emissions of thick grey ash clouds that lasted for 10-15 minutes.

It was estimated that the ashing consisted of thin and thick volumes of white vapor and reached a height 3000 meters. The ash fall affected areas on the northwest part of the volcano.


Hoskins airport closed

Ash fall was reported in the Hoskins area between 6 and 9pm Saturday evening, after Mt Ulawun erupted again on Saturday at 5am.

A notice to airmen was issued by the PNG Air Services today advising of the closure of Hoskins airport.  

All Air Niugini flights to and from Hoskins, West New Britain Province, are cancelled effective today, Sunday 04th August 2019, due to ash on the runway.

Mt Ulawun has reportedly been quiet since 10pm Saturday, and the ashfall has subsided.

(Loop filepic)


Natural disasters hit WNB

While it is still dealing with the aftermath of the Mt Ulawun eruption of June 26th, the volcano started spewing ashes again this morning.

To compound the situation, one bridge along the New Britain Highway, the Girity Bridge, was washed away by floods from continuous heavy rains while another bridge close to Mamota – the Luvi Bridge – was also damaged, cutting off normal traffic flow between Kimbe and Bialla.


Over 10,000 displaced

Minister for State Owned Enterprises, Sasindran Muthuvel, revealed this as temporary relief supplies were organised for locals already displaced.

Muthuvel said the eruption on June 26th caused distress and displaced people in Ulamona and Noau villages, and the estates of Ubili, Navo and Sabalbal.

“It is a challenging time for us in WNB, but together we will overcome and proud to see our 8 million brothers and sisters out there worried about us and doing everything to help us,” stated Muthuvel.