Hickey says people moving out

Member for Bogia John Hickey says authorities on ground in Manam Island began moving people out to Madang mainland at midday.

He received confirmation from authorities that at least two people have been injured and are being transported to Madang as well.

Madang Disaster office, police and other government agencies have responded to the eruption gathering logistics and making plans for how and where people rescued from the island will be taken to.

Hickey says for now the volcano is quiet however ash continues to fall.

Local authorities on Manam Island will continue to monitor the volcano tonight.

Manam volcano erupted this morning blowing out thick black smoke.

The volcano was placed on stage 2 alert by the Rabaul Volcano Observatory since February this year.

Assistant Director Ima Itikarai says the eruption was anticipated.

Stage 2 alert means authorities on ground and communities around the volcano must begin preparations to evacuate.

Itikarai said a stage 2 alert is when an eruption may happen any time.

Joy Kisselpar