15 000 people evacuate after eruptions of Ulawun and Manam, Papua New Guinea

15 000 people evacuate after eruptions of Ulawun and Manam, Papua New Guinea

At least 15 000 people were forced to evacuate after two volcanoes - Ulawun on June 26 and Manam on June 28, 2019 - erupted in Papua New Guinea.

While there are no reports of casualties, the eruptions disrupted domestic flghts, destroyed homes, plantations and wells, leaving villagers without food and water.

The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said that as of June 30, 3 775 people had fled the Manam eruption and 11 047 people Mount Ulawun.

According to the governor, Francis Maneke, volcanic ash has spread to Kimbe, the provincial capital, 200 km (124 miles) away. Water supplies have been contaminated and crops have been destroyed, forcing villagers to evacuate the area.

Maneke said that displaced people need immediate relief but it has slowed down due to the closure of the airport. The most urgent relief is food, medical and water support.

The logistics and transport support is also of immense significance for the supplies to get to the area. The governor said that he is requesting the state government to declare a state of Emergency. 

Featured image: Eroli Tamara

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