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PNG volcano erupts, Japan assesses tsunami risk

Australian Associated Press -

A volcano in Papua New Guinea has erupted, the Japan Meteorological Agency says, adding it is assessing a possible risk of a tsunami for Japanese coasts.

Mount Ulawun on the island of New Britain in Papua New Guinea erupted about 3.30pm (0630 GMT) on Monday, spewing volcanic smoke as high as 15,000 meters, the agency said, quoting Australia's Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre in Darwin. 

The agency said it was assessing a possible impact, including the risk of a tsunami approaching Japan later on Monday. 

First tsunami waves could reach Izu and Ogasawara islands about three hours after the shaking caused by the eruption, JMA said.

The agency has not issued any tsunami advisory or warning. 

It said that no notable change to sea levels had been detected at observation sites in and outside Japan. 

PNG's Geohazards Management Division, a government agency that monitors earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions, did not immediately respond to a request for information on Monday.

Geoscience Australia, a government agency, said there was no tsunami warning for Australian waters. 

The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not issue any warning. 

JMA, however, urged coastal residents to stay cautious in case of a delayed tsunami. 

It said it could not immediately predict a possible size of the waves. 

Australian Associated Press

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