Friday, September 3, 2010

Manam on alert

By ROSALYN EVARA, Post Courier
A STAGE one alert has been issued to villagers on Madang’s Manam Island following seismic activities reported in recent weeks.
This was revealed by an officer from the Rabaul Volcanic Observatory (RVO) when confirming reports given to this newspaper yesterday of smoke seen rising from the island’s volcano.
President of Iabu Local Level Gov-ernment Lawrence Konaka reported these volcanic activities and raise concerns over his people’s safety and future on the island.
He also wanted to know what plans the National Government had for the permanent resettlement of the islanders.
An officer from the Rabaul Volcanic Observatory when contacted the volcanic activities said there had been increased activities on the island since August 3 and because of this an officer, who also happened to be a local from Manam, had been sent to Madang to closely monitor the situation.
He said the office had been mon-itoring the situation and the activities had slightly decreased.
“Last week a small red glow could be seen at night and during the day time a bit of ash content but only at the mouth of the crater,” he said.
“We have issued a stage one alert and that basically means that villagers should be aware of these activities and be prepared.
“However at this stage there is no real cause for concern.”
He said all local authorities including the provincial administration had been briefed and they were still communicating with them.
Meanwhile, Mr Konaka said he was concerned that while there had been a lot of good talk on the issue of permanent resettlement, it was taking a little too long.
“We’ve had the Minister for Inter-Government Relations Job Pomat visit us and even the Prime Minister Sir Michael regarding our plight I am wondering who else is going to visit us in relation to this issue but more importantly when we will see some tangible progress?” he said.
“Our people have and continue to suffer. I really don’t know what the hold-up is or what we are waiting for? More blood to be spilled before this issue is seriously addressed?
“There has been too much fighting and my people are tired of this rou-tine.”

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