Papua New Guinea: Volcanic Activity PNG Disaster Management Team Situation Update No. 8 (as of 27 January 2018)

This update is produced by the PNG Disaster Management Team Secretariat in collaboration with humanitarian partners. It covers the period from 17 January 2018. The next update will be issued on or around 31 January 2018.

Background

Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) Kadovar Island (East Sepik Province) became active on 5 January 2018. This volcanic activity affected up to 691 Kadovar islanders and prompted their immediate evacuation to neighbouring Rup Rup island.
The Provincial Government has since evacuated Kadovar islanders to mainland East Sepik Province since 14 January. The location for temporary resettlement was identified as Dandan (Turubu LLG), east of Wewak Town.
The Provincial Government has identified up to 563 people have resettled at Dandan Care Centre.
The Rabaul Volcanological Observatory (RVO) has stated that there is no physical link between the volcanoes on Kadovar and the other Schouten islands and confirmed no new volcanic activity detected on Biem and Rup Rup islands. There are no immediate plans to evacuate Biem and Rup Rup islanders.

Current Situation

As of 26 January, the RVO has indicated that the situation on Kadovar remained dynamic but has settled into a reasonable stable situation with continued steady emission of ash, gas and lava.
RVO assessed that there remained a small risk of tsunami to the mainland and neighbouring islands should the volcanic structure collapses.
As of 17 January, a majority of Kadovar islanders on Rup Rup island were evacuated to mainland East Sepik Province. Of the 691 islanders, 563 people have been relocated to a temporary 3ha site1 at Dandan Care Centre in Turubu LLG.2 Acquisition of the identified 30ha site for resettlement at Dandan remains ongoing.

On 17 January, the Provincial Government supported by humanitarian partners conducted a rapid assessment of the Dandan Care Centre to identify humanitarian needs. The most urgent needs identified were: 1) adequate access to clean water; 2) gender segregated sanitation facilities; 3) nutritional supplements for children under five years; 4) lighting and; 5) clothing. Other short and medium-term needs were also identified.

Response to Date

Following the evacuation of 563 Kadovar islanders from Rup Rup island to Dandan Care Centre, the Provincial Government supported by humanitarian partners has provided food, water and emergency shelter assistance.

According to reports, government collection of relief items from private sector and the public remain ongoing including two containerised offices for siting the planned Emergency Operations Centre (EOC). The containers are expected to arrive in Wewak by end of January.

The planned establishment of the EOC remains in progress.

The National Disaster Centre has developed a PGK4 million response plan ($1.21 million) to meet the assessed needs of Kadovar islanders at Dandan Care Centre for up to six months. The funding submission is awaiting approval by the PNG Government.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.