Manam volcano, Papua New Guinea erupted very strongly on January 24, 2019, sending lava down the side of the cliffs a ejecting an ash and gas plume 16.7 km (55 000 feet) above sea and destroying telecommunication towers and water sources. The eruption lasted 24 hours. Residents are urging for immediate evacuation. The Aviation Color Code is Red. It comes just one day after (January 23, 2019) another high-impact eruption at Manam ejected ash up to 15.2 km (50 000 feet) a.s.l.
More than 2000 Manam Islanders are at risk after their volcanic island roared to life in the past 24 hours. The MRA reported ‘‘continuous eruptions for 24 hours as of 1 pm yesterday (Wednesday).’’
Communication to the island was cut Wednesday night, when the only Digicel tower was toppled by volcanic activity.
Kessy Sawang, Head of Secretariat at Manam Resettlement Authority, has sent out calls for immediate evacuation of residents living near the volcano:
Manam erupts continuously for 24 hours now as of 1 pm yesterday (unlike only 2 hours in the past). Very high temperatures. Digicel tower destroyed. People may perish next 48 hours if no help goes through.
Chairman of Manam Disaster Working Committee and Ward Member for Baliau just called. Water sources & food gardens completely destroyed.
Urgently need a temporary shelter on mainland. Need MV Godawan or transport for evacuation.
The people of Baliau (2257) and Dugulaba (862) were sent back to the volcano by a Government decision. They have no where else to go at the moment.
Chairman MRA Ken Fairweather says we look at Nubia. But immediate is to existing Care Centres where the other IDPs are. Going to Disaster Centre now.
According to the United States Geological Survey, an earthquake was observed just northeast of the volcano approximately two hours before the start of the volcanic eruption.
The Manam volcano suddenly erupted back in August 2018, forcing the evacuation of 2,000 people from Manam Island. Most of the island’s 9,000 inhabitants were evacuated back in 2004 following a major eruption.