Tokua flights resume

Islands, Normal

By ABIGAIL APINA UPNG journalism student

FLIGHTS to Tokua Airport resumed on Sunday yesterday after a week of suspension due to heavy ash fall.
The assistant director for Rabaul Volcano Observatory Herman Patia said Mt Tavurvur was throwing heavy ash last Tuesday but this had stopped last Friday.
Mr Patia said the province did not experience any earthquake during the time of the heavy ash fall.
Meanwhile, Mt Tavurvur was giving out very little amount of sulphur dioxide according to their measurements while southeast winds were blowing gas and water vapour towards Tokua Airport and Kokopo town.
Mr Patia said that last week’s volcanic activities were at very low levels.
Furthermore, he said even when the situation had stabilised, the volcano activities were unpredictable and the mountain could start spewing out ash at very short notice.
Air Niugini Kokopo branch management refused to confirm the resumption of flights in and out of Tokua, referring The National to Air Niugini headquarters.
However, The National contacted Tokua Airport yesterday afternoon and was told that flights resumed on Sunday and continued yesterday.
Airport officials said that situation at Tokua Airport was back to normal, however, the management was hesitant to allow more flights into the province until they get proper reports from Department of Civil Aviation Authority and Rabaul Observatory.