Kadovar eruption: Disaster services yet to respond

Distress calls continue for the people of volcanic Kadovar Island, in East Sepik Province, who were victim to an eruption more than 16 hours ago.

Some help has already reached the remote island in evacuating locals, as more is being sought.

Earlier today, two dinghies from nearest Kopar Village in the Angoram District helped to evacuate some Kadovar locals.

Kopar village councilor Tom Kelly told this newsroom that the boats were sent to Kadovar Island as soon as they noticed that something was wrong.

Meantime, Wewak District Administrator Ricky Wobar and Chris Bais from the governor’s office flew with Samaritan Aviation to assess the situation and said the situation has worsened.

Wobar said they observed lava coming out of the volcano.

Bais said they still do not know the status of the 700 to 800 locals living on the island, and have called on the National Disaster and Emergency Services to respond at the earliest tomorrow.

He said from observation, at least 50 to 60 percent of the island is covered in lava.

Thick clouds, dust and smoke was experienced in neighbouring Kairuru and Muschu Islands, as well as Mt Uru in Yangoru District and Woginara on the West Coast.

Attempts to get a statutory report from the Rabaul Volcanological Observatory remain unsuccessful.   

Salome Vincent