Monut Tavurvu's volcanic eruption in Papua New Guinea causes flight diversions as smoke and ash spew high over the South Pacific island nation. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
A volcanic eruption in Papua New Guinea on Friday (August 29) sent smoke and ash spewing high over the South Pacific island nation, leading some aircraft to alter their flight paths. Mount Tavurvur on Rabaul on East New Britain Island erupted hours before dawn, a bulletin from the Rabaul Volcanological Observatory said. There have been no reports of injuries. Qantas said that it was altering the path of a handful of international flights in the area, but that it would add only about five minutes to their scheduled time. Qantas spokeswoman Sarah Algar said flight paths between Sydney and Narita and Sydney and Shanghai had been changed due to the volcanic ash. Algar added that the "QF21, QF22 and QF130 would fly over central Papua New Guinea to avoid the cloud." Authorities have not issued an evacuation order for the town closest to the volcano, Rabaul, which was destroyed in 1994 during a previous but more severe eruption. Iceland issued its highest alert level for a volcano on Friday. Bardarbunga started rumbling about a week ago, signalling trouble for air travel in northern Europe. In 2010, an ash cloud from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano closed much of Europe's airspace for six days.