Be prepared, urges Bird

Governor Allan Bird said from reports received recently, the situation in Kadovar Island will most likely worsen.

He said the actual status of the volcanic activity at this stage is unknown however, there is a possibility of a disaster just waiting to happen.

He pointed out that experts believe they are at risk of tsunamis.

Bird said the future of the islanders is uncertain however, they are positive that they will secure land and in fact, the Kaup area has been set aside.

The governor reiterated that they are aware of at least ten volcanoes in the province.

Kadovar eruption continues

The Rabaul Volcanological Observatory, in its 12th situation report, noted several discrete explosions on Sunday morning from the same vent, described as moderate to large.

“The main crater produced weak to moderate dark grey ash clouds to 500-800m above the summit,” reported the RVO.

“It is referred to as continuous vulcanian activity.”

The Observatory has reported that sulphur dioxide (SO2) gases are being emitted from the volcano and have shown a strong signal in the last few days.

Madang residents raise funds for islanders

This will be the second wheelbarrow push.

The first was held last Saturday.

According to the Madang Provincial Disaster Centre, who is working closely with the community in raising funds, a number of wheelbarrow push will be done before they send the funds to help the displaced islanders.

The team is appealing to all Sepiks in Madang Town and the general public, including business houses, to lend a helping hand.

(A similar initiative is being carried out in the nation’s capital)

Governor grateful for help

Governor Allan Bird noted an overwhelming response from all over the country to assist in the plight of the East Sepik people.

He said among the donors, the National Capital District Commission has been the most significant with a K100,000 donation on Wednesday (Jan 17).

Others who have also assisted were the Prime Minister’s office and National Gaming Control Board.

Governor Bird was also overwhelmed at the set-up of the NCDC tents at the City Hall car park, noting that this is indeed a heart touching response led by the NCDC office.

Fuel shortage a major hurdle: Bird

Speaking at the NCD city hall on Wednesday, the governor reiterated that although they have received overwhelming response from many organisations as well as individuals, the challenge now is to take care of the impacted people until they are resettled.

In giving an update on the relief exercise, Governor Bird highlighted that they were also facing difficulties in accessing funds as there was not enough for the provincial government.

He said the HMPNGS Lakekamu had gone back to Wewak to refill and the monies donated by the NCDC would likely go towards fuel.

Second phase of Kadovar relief program ends

According to Chris Bais of the East Sepik Governor’s Office, within 11 days from the day of eruption, organisers were able to supply relief food supplies, 20 litres of water, cartons of drinking water and tarpaulins.

The complete evacuation of Kadavor villagers to the care centre at Dandan also took place within 11 days.

So far over 533 men, women and children are at the Dandan care centre.

No volcanic activity on Biem: Dept

The Department established radio contact with the Chief of Bam (Biem) Island, who is on site, yesterday evening.

“It can now be categorically stated that there has been no volcanic activity of any kind on that island,” says the Dept.

“Kadovar however, continues to produce a steam plume to a few hundred meters.”

This confirmation supports the Rabaul Volcanological Observatory’s statement on Sunday regarding the lack of volcanic activity on Biem.

Unconfirmed reports redirect evacuation

Unconfirmed reports that Biem Island in East Sepik may erupt has redirected evacuation efforts.

East Sepik Governor Allan Bird has instructed for the people of Biem to be moved first to the mainland.

The unconfirmed reports coming from the locals on Biem has prompted this swift action.

The evacuation plan, as stated by the East Sepik Governor, Allan Bird, was to get the Biem islanders to the safety of the mainland; this is now immediate.

State resources to support evacuation: PM

The Prime Minister also again issued a warning for all coastal communities in the north of the country to be on alert for the risk of tsunami resulting from volcanic activity.

“National Government agencies, led by our disciplined services, have been stood-up to respond to volcanic activity on Kadavor Island,” the Prime Minister said.

“Volcanoes are very unpredictable, we are hearing various reports that activity has been building up and we need to take all precautions to keep our people safe.

RVO refutes second volcanic eruption claims

“Reports of 12km high plumes above Bam (Biem) and Kadovar were probably thunder clouds,” stated the Observatory.

Furthermore, the RVO said meteorologists have reported thunderstorms in the vicinity, with tops consistent with the 12km reported heights.

“The images from Bam (Biem) purportedly showing a ‘sulphur plume’ in the water at the coast are probably showing long standing thermal feature,” says the Observatory.

Additionally, the RVO said a number of islanders returning from Biem yesterday have reported no unusual activity apart from tremors.