January 8, 2018

Almost 700 rescued and settled on nearby island in PNG after Kadovar Island Volcanic Eruption

More than half of Kadovar Island in the East Sepik Province has been covered by lava and ashfall from the island’s volcanic eruption last Friday.

Executive officer to East Sepik Governor, Chris Bais said from Wewak that lava continued to fall and had now covered 75 per cent of the island.

Bais said no casualties had been reported since the volcano, east of Wewak, erupted. Immediate relief supplies of food and water will be moved to the displaced Kadovar islanders by this morning. As of yesterday, the displaced islanders have reached up to 700 men, women, children and the old, according to sources on the ground.

The Kadovar Islanders are resettling at nearby Ruprup Island, east of Kadovar, awaiting further assistance.

Bais said the island has been fully evacuated. “First thing tomorrow morning (Tuesday) before daylight, we will be moving relief supplies which include food and water to the people,” he said.

“The relief supplies will be moved with the help of the PNGDF aircraft which is now at Wewak.

Inter-government Relations Minister Kevin Isifu, who is Wewak MP, said relief assistance had been arranged with the PNGDF who had sent one of their landing crafts from Lombrum Naval Base and was currently on its way to Ruprup.

He said they would also set up a communications centre which would help them to monitor and assist the displaced and the volcanic situation back at the island. “Everyone has been evacuated to Ruprup and we will assist them from there,” Isifu said.

He said they will look at obtaining a report from the Rabaul Volcano Observatory Centre before deciding on the next step to be taken to help the people.

Isifu said if the reports from Rabaul Observatory showed that the island would experience another volcano eruption, then they would look at relocating the people to a safer place like the east coast of Wewak.

SOURCE: POST COURIER/PacNews/ONE PNG
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