Some residents of a remote Papua New Guinea island were preparing on Tuesday to evacuate from the vicinity of an erupting volcano that shot a cloud of ash into the sky, forcing the cancellation of some flights.
Teams had been sent to the Mount Ulawun area on New Britain island to coordinate an evacuation after it began erupting on Monday, state broadcaster NBC PNG reported senior disaster management official Clement Bailey as saying.
ABC News reported that the Japan Meteorological Agency is assessing a possible risk of a tsunami for Japanese coasts.
According to the agency, the first tsunami waves could reach Izu and Ogasawara islands about three hours after the shaking caused by the eruption.
Flights from the island's Hoskins airport had been cancelled, NBC PNG said, adding that the volcano was still erupting.
Papua New Guinea’s Geohazards Management Division said Ulawun's volcanic activity started on Monday afternoon, as per ABC News.
The eruption is expected to continue indefinitely, it said, and raised the volcano's risk level to the highest stage of four.
At the time of reporting, neither Australia or Hawaii had issued any tsunami warnings.
Papua New Guinea is on the Pacific Ring of Fire, a horse-shoe shaped band of volcanoes and fault lines circling the edges of the Pacific Ocean.