Tuesday, November 21, 2023

PNG Cancels Flights, Plans Evacuation After Volcano Eruption | TOME


The South Pacific nation downgrades its alert level, but warns the Ulawun outburst could continue ‘indefinitely’.

Ulawun Volcano Alert Level Downgraded

The alert level for Ulawun volcano in Papua New Guinea has been downgraded by authorities, indicating a decrease in volcanic activity. However, officials have warned that the eruption could continue indefinitely, posing a potential threat to nearby communities.

Decrease in Volcanic Activity

Following weeks of intense volcanic activity, the Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO) has lowered the alert level from stage three to stage two. This decision was made after monitoring equipment detected a decrease in seismic activity and ash emissions from the volcano.

While this downgrade provides some relief to residents and authorities, it is important to note that the situation remains unpredictable. The RVO has emphasized that volcanic eruptions can be highly volatile and can escalate rapidly. Therefore, it is crucial for communities in the vicinity of Ulawun to remain vigilant and prepared for any potential changes.

Potential Threat to Nearby Communities

Despite the decrease in volcanic activity, officials have warned that the eruption could continue indefinitely. This means that nearby communities may still be at risk from ashfall, pyroclastic flows, and other volcanic hazards.

Authorities have advised residents to stay informed through regular updates from the RVO and local authorities. They have also urged people living in close proximity to Ulawun to have evacuation plans in place and to be ready to evacuate at short notice if required.

Impact on Local Environment

The eruption of Ulawun has had a significant impact on the local environment. Ashfall from the volcano has covered nearby villages and farmland, leading to concerns about the safety of drinking water and the potential for crop damage.

Efforts are underway to assess the extent of the damage and provide assistance to affected communities. The government, along with international aid organizations, is working to distribute clean water, food, and other essential supplies to those in need.

International Support

The international community has also offered support to Papua New Guinea in dealing with the aftermath of the volcanic eruption. Australia, New Zealand, and other neighboring countries have pledged financial aid and resources to assist with relief efforts.

Additionally, scientific experts from around the world are collaborating with local authorities to monitor the volcano and provide valuable insights into its behavior. This collaboration aims to improve understanding of volcanic activity and enhance preparedness for future eruptions.


While the downgrading of the alert level for Ulawun volcano brings some relief to affected communities, the threat of eruption still looms. It is crucial for residents in the vicinity of the volcano to remain vigilant and prepared for any potential changes in volcanic activity.

The impact on the local environment and communities has been significant, with ashfall causing damage to villages and farmland. International support is being provided to assist with relief efforts and scientific collaboration is underway to improve understanding and preparedness for future eruptions.

As authorities continue to monitor Ulawun volcano, it is important for everyone to stay informed through official channels and follow any instructions or evacuation orders issued by local authorities. By staying prepared and working together, communities can mitigate the potential risks posed by volcanic activity and ensure the safety and well-being of all residents.

Latest stories