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Volcano erupts for first time in Papua New Guinea

Volcano erupts for first time in Papua New Guinea
Smoke and ash emanates from the Manaro Voui volcano located on Vanuatu's northern island Ambae in the South Pacific, October 1, 2017. REUTERS/Ben Bohane

Port Moresby [Papua New Guinea]: A dormant volcano erupted for the very first time in a dramatic fashion, spewing lava and sending an ash cloud at around two kilometres above the sea level.

The local media reported that the volcano, located on the Kadovar Island, situated in north-eastern Papua New Guinea, lay dormant until yesterday when it began to erupt at around noon. The volcano is still spewing lava, stripping large parts of land in the island.

Experts are calling the eruption the “first surprise volcano to erupt in 2018”.

Thick dust, clouds and smoke have surrounded the island. Experts are also discovering why the once-dormant volcano erupted all of a sudden. The island is approximately located 24 kilometres from the northern coast of mainland Papua New Guinea.

At least 600 residents of the volcanic island were evacuated after the local authorities received distress calls from them.

The Rabaul Volcanological Observatory said that the eruption could become ‘explosive’.

“Due to the steepness of the island, landslides are possible and together with the explosive nature of the magma, tsunamis may be generated”, the observatory said.

“It appears from satellite imagery and aerial photographs, that it started with mild Vulcanian activity from a vent at the south-east base of the cumulodome. A fissure may be opening just inside the western wall of the vent’s breach, descending down to the sea level”, added the observatory.

Wewak District Administrator Ricky Wobar said that the situation on the island had worsened after flying overhead to assess the situation on the island, where they observed lava coming out of the once dormant volcano.

Around 60 percent of the island has been covered by lava since the volcano first erupted.

“The island is in a critical situation. The clouds are darker and increasing at an alarming rate”, said Kopar councilor Tom Kelly.

Papua New Guinea sits in the region of ‘Ring of Fire’, which is an area in the Pacific Ocean, where a large number of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur. (ANI)