Papua New Guinea’s Ulawun volcano erupts, one of world’s most hazardous

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The Mount Ulawun volcano in northeastern Papua New Guinea erupted early Thursday, spewing ash high into the air before easing with no injuries reported.

The country’s Geohazards Management Division reported “continuous forceful emissions of thick grey ash clouds” from the volcano for about 15 minutes.

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Mount Ulawun is one of the world’s most hazardous volcanoes, featuring on a list of 16 “decade volcanoes” targeted for research by volcanologists because they pose a significant risk of large, violent eruptions.

The plumes were estimated to have travelled 3,000 meters (almost 10,000 feet) into the air, prompting a warning to airline pilots in the area.

“Ash plumes from the eruption were blown to the northwest side of the volcano resulting in very fine ash fall in some places, including Ulamona Mission, and further downwind at Lolobau Island,” the Geohazards Management Division said.

The volatile volcano is situated on the remote Bismarck Archipelago chain to the north of the country.

A series of eruptions in 2019 forced thousands of people to flee their homes.

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