PNG govt adjusts Kadovar evacuation numbers upwards

The Papua New Guinea government says 2000 people have been evacuated from Kadovar island, 1300 more than was previously reported.

The evacuations followed a volcanic eruption on the island which has covered it in ash.

The newspaper The National reported the minister responsible for National Disaster Management, Kevin Isifu, saying previous reports of the island having only 700 people was based on eligible voters in the electoral roll.

Kadovar's population was moved to neighbouring islands, but Mr Isifu said there was a plan to permanently resettle them on the mainland in East Sepik.

He said 20 to 30 hectares of land have been identified for their relocation near Sir-Dandan village on the East Coast of Wewak.

The minister said people from islands close to Kadovar including Ruprup would also need to be moved.

The National reported the whole operation will cost about $US1 million.

PNG PM announces $US47k for Kadovar evacuees

Meanwhile, Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Peter O'Neill announced a commitment of nearly $US47,000 to assist the people of Kadovar Island that have been affected by the eruption.

Mr O'Neill also commended the Governor of the East Sepik Province, Alan Bird, for taking the steps to arrange for the people of Kadovar to be evacuated to safety at nearby Ruprup Island and to the mainland of Wewak.

Mr O'Neill said the safety of people in the area around the volcano, and areas where there could be potential risk of tsunami, was of paramount importance.

The Prime Minister called on all people in coastal areas in the north of the country to be on alert.

He said it was almost 20 years ago that PNG saw the devastating effect of a tsunami that hit Aitape and nearby areas.

In announcing the financial commitment Mr O'Neill also directed high-ranking officials to ensure water and food supplies for the people of Kadovar were procured and sent to the temporary relief centre at Ruprup Island.