Papua New Guinea's Tavurvur Volcano Erupts; Locals Evacuate, Flights Disrupted

PHOTO: Smoke rises after Papua New Guineas Tavurvur volcano erupted, Aug. 29, 2014.Facebook/Jason Tassell
Smoke rises after Papua New Guinea's Tavurvur volcano erupted, Aug. 29, 2014.

Papua New Guinea's Tavurvur volcano spewed smoke and ash into the air today, with residents in the South Pacific nation evacuated and flights disrupted.

Communities near the volcano were evacuated, while residents of the town of Rabaul were advised to remain indoors to avoid falling ash, according to a statement from Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Australia’s Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre issued an advisory after the eruption. Authorities there are making sure air travel in the region is safe. Qantas flights in the area are taking special care to avoid the volcanic cloud.

Tavurvur most recently erupted last year.

Today's activity, which occurred on the eastern tip of the country’s New Britain island, offered tourists spectacular views of the volcanic activity.

The volcano has erupted numerous times in recent years, destroying the town of Rabaul in 1994 when it erupted simultaneously with nearby Mount Vulcan.

A separate volcano eruption occurred today in Iceland, with minimal airborne ash produced. All airports in Iceland remain open, authorities said.