Papua New Guinea Forum

Papua New Guinea Forum (
-   Rabaul / Kokopo - East New Britain Province (
-   -   The Rabaul Volcanic eruptions of 1994 (

Todez55 05-07-2002 11:08 AM

The Rabaul Volcanic Eruptions of 1994
Rabaul is the only urban settlement in the world built inside an active volcanoe caldera making it the most picturesque town in Papua New Guinea and giving the town one of the best all-weather harbours in the world.

The caldera is the home of a number of dormant and actice volcanoes and the Tolai people who live near these have a saying " Tikana pakana takaum kilala na nilaun - una gire ra kaia na vuvuai" - " Once in your lifetime you will experience a volcanic eruption." This was proved once again in the early hours of the morning of Sunday, 18 September 1994, as subterranean volcanic activity began violently shaking the Gazelle Peninsula, heralding the coming events.

At 6:00am on Monday, 19 September, Tavurvur volcano commenced destroying Rabaul town and the surrounding villages of Talwat, Nordup, Matalau, Rabuana, Korere, Rapolo and Matupit. This was followed about one hour later on the other side of Simpson Harbour when another volcano, Vulcan (Kalamanagunan), vented itself upon the villages Raluan, Valaur, Tavana, Latlat, Rapolo, Karavia and Malaguna, burying them with Tephra and destroying the property and livelihood of thousands of people.

This pictorial will give future Generations some idea of the tragedy and devastation that commenced in Rabaul and its environment on that fateful day in 1994.

Janelle 05-07-2002 11:26 AM

1 Attachment(s)
6.06am Monday morning 19 September 1994.

Janelle 05-07-2002 11:34 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Volcanologist, Chris McKee, and communications expert, John Millard, take notes of the early stages in Tavurvur's eruption from Rabaul's Volcanological Observatory.

Janelle 05-07-2002 11:49 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Tavurvur's ash column blocks out the early morning sun as it erupts for the first time since 1943.

Janelle 05-07-2002 12:03 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Vulcan in full fury after laying dormant for over 57 years. It blasted ash and steam up to 30 km high reaching into the stratosphere and sent out pyroclastic flows and tidal waves towards Rabaul.

Janelle 05-07-2002 12:06 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Double eruption - Vulcan (left) and Tavurvur (right) fill the skies over Rabaul with a blanket of ash.

Janelle 05-07-2002 12:11 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Tavurvur's omnious ash cloud engulfs the sky above bush huts of Matupit Island.

Janelle 05-07-2002 12:18 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Stripped of vegetation, Rabalanakaia crater was reported to have erupted during the early stages of the disaster. But the crater's plug had remained intact.

Janelle 05-07-2002 12:26 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Vulcan's new craters sit exhausted after a short but energetic eruption. Vulcan's activity, rapidly declining by 24 September, had caused by 2 October, 14 days into the eruptions.

Janelle 05-07-2002 12:34 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Tavurvur continues to blast out a constant billowing cloud of ash high into the afternoon sky. As the air cools the rising waitsan (volcanic ash/black sand) it falls across Simpson Harbour. Rabaul sits desolate and devastated in the foreground.

All times are GMT +11. The time now is 11:15 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright© 2000-2015 Matryx Limited.