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New Guinea villagers flee after eruption

Breaking Volcanic News
New Guinea

UP to 2000 villagers have fled to higher ground from their seaside homes on Siassi Island in Papua New Guinea after a volcanic eruption on nearby Ritter Island.
There were no reports from the island of casualties, but sea surges reportedly destroyed four houses and a boat following Saturday's eruption, Morobe Province disaster and emergency director Roy Kamen said today.
Around 1500 to 2000 people from two villages had moved to higher ground for fear of tsunamis and locals were too afraid to travel by sea, he said.
"They reported waves and the level of the sea rising," Mr Kamen said.
"They still hear rumbling noises and see smoke coming out of the island and had a few tremors last night."
The islands lie between the PNG mainland and the island of New Britain.

Photo: Rabaul Volcano on Ritter Island, New Guinea

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Island blows up
THOUSANDS of people on the eastern side of the Siassi Island in Morobe province are homeless after fleeing to higher grounds after the nearby active Ritter Island blew up.The Disaster and Emergency Office in Lae last night said the island erupted last Saturday and was spewing ash and smoke, catching the Rabaul Volcanic Observatory by surprise.Disaster and Emergency director Roy Kamen said reports from the area confirmed that tidal waves created by the eruption smashed into Kabi and Kampalap villages on the eastern part of Siassi Island, flattening four houses and sending about 10,000 local villagers fleeing to the hills for safety.
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