Papua New Guinea: Rabaul Volcano Alert - Apr 1984

Disaster description

Since October 1983, the Rabaul volcano in east new Britain province has shown abnormal local earthquakes and ground swelling, typical precursors to eruption. The last eruption, in 1939, was violently destructive causing 500 fatalities. The population now at risk has increased sixfold to 30,000. After a significant increase of eruption precursors, stage 2 of the four-stage alert was declared on 29 October 1983 and extensive preparations were made for stage 3 (full mobilization to evacuate) and stage 4 (general evacuation). Stage 2 could continue for many months without significant changes or could escalate at short notice (within days or hours) to a destructive eruption requiring evacuation. (UN DHA, 27 Apr 1984)

Affected Countries

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