Manam evacuation underway

​The Ambassador and EU Head of Delegation to PNG, Ioannis Giokarakis-Argyropoulos, witnessed the start of a first large evacuation from Manam Island onto Mandi Beach, Bogia, on Saturday.

On what was to be a visit to see past EU funded projects in Bogia, the trip, organised by the International Office Of Migration (IOM), ended up seeing the transportation of over 200 people (mainly mothers, girls, children and the elderly). These are people mostly from Dugulava, Warisi, Bokure and Kuluguma, who are from high risk villages as they sit directly in the path of the anticipated lava flow.

Organisers say more than 100 households are still to be evacuated.

Manam Volcano started belching smoke and flames around 7pm on Sunday, April 16, 2017. It was categorised as Stage 2 alert by the Rabaul Volcanological Observatory, who also issued instructions to authorities in Madang/Bogia to prepare or start evacuation. By last week, the alert was upgraded to Stage 3. This prompted immediate action.

Villagers expressed frustration at the ongoing lack of recognition and quick assistance by Government authorities on this. They are currently using whatever available means to carry out transportation themselves.

The EU Delegation, IOM and Manam Restoration Authority team have visited the island to see the situation for themselves. Assistance from International NGOs, including IOM, are expected soon.

(An elderly man being assisted by his relatives at Mandi Beach, Bogia, Madang – Pictures: Kevin Dayonga)

Press release