Papua New Guinea: Volcanic Eruptions - Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) DREF n° MDRPG010

Situation Report
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A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

This operation supports the unfolding situation in Papua New Guinea in response to two volcanic eruptions that took place during the last week of June.

On 26 June, the Ulawun volcano, about 130 km (81 miles) southwest of the township of Rabaul, East New Britain, started emitting ash plumes. Ash plumes have risen to 50,000ft, and the Aviation Colour Code has been raised to Red. Mount Ulawun in West New Britain Province (New Britain island) erupted magmatic gas, ash and lava flows on 25 June at 22.00 UTC after increased activity in recent weeks. Between 3,000 and 5,000 people voluntarily evacuated the immediate vicinity of Ulawun, according to the National Disaster Centre. The ash plume is moving generally south but has slowed down. No casualties have been reported so far. Current information with regards to the impacts of Ulawun volcano eruption are:

• Over 10,000 people were evacuated to 10 care center sites in West New Britain and 427 persons sheltered in one care center in East New Britain.

• West New Britain is establishing two formal care centers, one in Barema and the other in Bagada, East Nakanai, to relocate those displaced in other care center sites.

• Food and other relief items are being distributed by provincial teams.

• Ashfall has been observed across Talesea district down up to Kimbe.

• Provincial state of emergency was declared in West New Britain and activated emergency response plan.

• All communities within 20 kilometres radius have been advised to relocate to safe zones identified by provincial government.

On 28 June, volcanic activity was reported on Manam volcano, Madang province, from about 7:00 a.m. As of 7:45 a.m., PNG time, on 29 June, the volcano was emitting volcanic ash up to 4,572 meters (15,000 feet), and superheated pyroclastic flows to the west and northeast slopes of the volcano, according to Rabaul Volcanological Observatory.

Current information with regards to the impacts of Manam volcano eruption are:

• Approximately 755 households (3,775 people) moved to three care centres. The largest is Baliau with 447 households (2,235 people), followed by Kuluguma with 182 households (910 people), while 76 households (380 people) are staying in Boda and 50 households (250 people) are staying in Iassa.

• Madang disaster authorities identified immediate needs for food and water. The Provincial Disaster Centre is coordinating with Madang Red Cross Branch to response to the volcano affected population.