Volcano alert upgraded

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THE Rabaul Volcanic Observatory has informed the Disaster Office officials in Madang that the Manam volcanic eruption alert has been upgraded to stage three.
Madang disaster and emergency office acting director Rudolf Mongallee said the notice meant that people on the island had to be evacuated.
Mongallee said an officer from the national disaster office visited the island on Saturday and recommended to authorities to start moving people off the island as soon as possible.
Some Manam people had moved back to the island after conflicts with landowners on the mainland.
Most of them were from Baliau and Dugulava villages.
Ward councillor for Dugulava village Paul Maburau said they had begun moving women and children to the Potsdam Care Centre in Bogia.
Maburau said there was more rumbling and blasts on Sunday night and more ashes spewed from the volcano.
“Lava and more smoke are still coming out so we are moving all women and children off the island,” he said.
The volcano erupted while the Manam islanders were having their dinner at around 7pm on April 16.