Volcano erupts in Papua New Guinea sending more than 5,000 locals running for their lives
- Mount Ulawun eruption in Papua New Guinea forcing mass evacuation
- Volcanic activity began at 7am Wednesday leading to some flight cancellations
- Column of smoke could be seen reaching as high as 15 kilometres into the air
- The volcano is known to be one of the most hazardous in the world
A volcano has erupted in Papua New Guinea forcing thousands to flee their homes.
More than 5,000 locals were evacuated as smoke and lava erupted from Mount Ulawun in the West New Britain Province.
The volcano is known to be one of the most hazardous in the world and began showing signs of activity at 7am on Wednesday.
A column of smoke reaching as high as 15 kilometres could be seen with the massive eruption plume forcing some flights to be cancelled.
Nearby Hoskins Airport has been closed while flowing lava has cut off parts of the New Britain Highway.
Village elder Christopher Lagisa told the ABC that evacuation had been slow with not enough vehicles available to evacuate the residents.
‘The Government did not come to help and we had to use whatever means we had to move people.
‘It was quite a lot, even we had to ask people to start walking then get picked up on the road.
‘I don’t know why the Government came in very late.’
The volatile volcano, located on the remote Bismarck Archipelago, is listed as one of 16 ‘Decade Volcanoes’ targeted for research because they pose a significant risk of large, violent eruptions.
More to come