Mt Ulawun

Hoskins airport closed

Ash fall was reported in the Hoskins area between 6 and 9pm Saturday evening, after Mt Ulawun erupted again on Saturday at 5am.

A notice to airmen was issued by the PNG Air Services today advising of the closure of Hoskins airport.  

All Air Niugini flights to and from Hoskins, West New Britain Province, are cancelled effective today, Sunday 04th August 2019, due to ash on the runway.

Mt Ulawun has reportedly been quiet since 10pm Saturday, and the ashfall has subsided.

(Loop filepic)

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Natural disasters hit WNB

While it is still dealing with the aftermath of the Mt Ulawun eruption of June 26th, the volcano started spewing ashes again this morning.

To compound the situation, one bridge along the New Britain Highway, the Girity Bridge, was washed away by floods from continuous heavy rains while another bridge close to Mamota – the Luvi Bridge – was also damaged, cutting off normal traffic flow between Kimbe and Bialla.

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Over 10,000 displaced

Minister for State Owned Enterprises, Sasindran Muthuvel, revealed this as temporary relief supplies were organised for locals already displaced.

Muthuvel said the eruption on June 26th caused distress and displaced people in Ulamona and Noau villages, and the estates of Ubili, Navo and Sabalbal.

“It is a challenging time for us in WNB, but together we will overcome and proud to see our 8 million brothers and sisters out there worried about us and doing everything to help us,” stated Muthuvel.

ANG to resume Hoskins flights

In a statement, the airline said: “Since the eruption of Mt Ulawun on Wednesday 26th June, Hoskins Airport was closed for operations and Air Niugini was forced to suspend all flights to and from Hoskins. Some flights were cancelled, whilst others were re-routed and re-timed to bypass Hoskins.

“Although daily flights will resume Sunday, there will be no aircraft overnighting in Hoskins just yet.”

Second volcanic eruption disrupts flights

Manam is the second volcano to have erupted just days after the eruption of Mt Ulawun in West New Britain.

There will be no aircraft overnight in Madang this weekend while PX 112 on Saturday and Sunday will be rescheduled to the following day.

Hoskins aerodrome meanwhile is still closed for airline operations. Air Niugini has retimed and re-routed all Hoskins flights for this weekend via Rabaul and Lae. National Airports Corporation (NAC) has commenced removing the ash from the runway and taxiways but this will take some time.

Further suspension of Hoskins flights

The airport authority, National Airports Corporation, has issued a notice to airmen (NOTAM) advising the temporary closure of the Hoskins aerodrome.

The situation is being monitored on a daily basis and the resumption of flights will depend on the volcanic activity.  

Passengers who are traveling to Hoskins are reminded not to travel at this time as you may be stranded in Port Moresby. Should passengers insist to travel, all costs will be at their own expense.

Air Niugini appreciates the traveling public’s understanding on this matter.