Date:         Thu, 22 Sep 1994 00:15:56 +1000
Reply-To: QUAKE-L Discussion List 
Sender: QUAKE-L Discussion List 
From: Kevin Vang 

The Vulcan and Tervurvur Volcanoes continue to billow for a fourth
straight day.  Reports are beginning to filter in that the flow may be
decreasing, but these have not been confirmed yet.  There are also
unconfirmed reports that a new cone has risen up in the middle of Simpson
Bay.  These reports have been in the newspaper and ABC radio.

It has been confirmed that most of the airport runway adjacent to where
Matupit Island used to be, has also disappeared into the bay.

The ash continues to rise in and around the town. And now there is quite
alot of speculation about whether Rabaul will ever be rebuilt/ reclaimed.
Kavieng may need to replace Rabaul as the key port of the Bismarck

I was very busy all day as all of the NGOs are coordinating massive relief
efforts.  Today 12 NGOs including AFSP had a phone linkup to coordinate
reponse.  Our British and USA affiates are also involved.  World Vision and
the Red Cross have launched a major public appeal across Australia.

AIDAB (Australian Aid) is well positioned as they had several police
trainers in Rabaul at the time of the eruption, and they are helping now
coordinating AIDAB's activities and disseminating Information.  An
Australian Hercules loaded with food and shelter supplies landed at Tokua
Airstrip this morning. PNG has also sent in the armed forces to help in
the efforts.

Every church, school, building and chicken shed in Kokopo is filled with
refugees.  Kerevat is also holding a much smaller number. Many other
refurgees are staying with wontoks in the countryside.  The Chan
government has today sent a formal appeal to all relevant donor countries
including Australia, USA, UK and NZ.  The continuing ash fall is beginning
to pose threats to some of the downwind relief shelters.

Tomorrow the NGO community here in Australia will begin to mobilise, and
in cooperation with the government should move to get the relief effort in
full gear.

One unique problem stemming from the Rabaul eruption, is what to do with
Bougainville.  Bougainville which has been in a state of civil war for the
last 5 years, has just signed the Honiara Peace Treaty a few weeks ago.
The government and NGOs were using Rabaul as the principle port to get
relief supplies into the war-torn island.  Now with Rabaul gone,
Bougainville is once again adrift.

Several NGOs will make an appeal tomorrow to the Australian and Solomon
Islands Governments to get permission to use Honiara and the North
Solomons as the substitute aid distribution centre.

Kevin Vang

Dr. Kevin Vang, School of Earth Sciences/ School of Philosophy, History
and Politics, The Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2019, AUSTRALIA

Director, Environment and Development Group International, 64/302 Burns Bay Rd
Lane Cove, NSW 2066 AUSTRALIA     Email 

Senior Program Coordinator, Australian Foundation for the Peoples of the South
Pacific, 1A Barry Road, St Leonards, Sydney, NSW, AUSTRALIA