Volcano erupts in Papua New Guinea

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Courtesy Jason Tassell

(CNN) — A volcano erupted in Papua New Guinea on Friday, spurting ash tens of thousands of feet into the sky, and forcing a number of international flights to be diverted.

The eruption of Mount Tavurvur on the island of New Britain began early Friday, said Craig Earl-Spurr, a meteorologist at the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center in Australia.

The volcano spewed a thick tower of ash that reached as high as 60,000 feet above sea level.

Dramatic photos posted on social media showed Tavurvur belching fire and ash from across a bay. The volcano is situated only a few kilometers from the township of Rabaul.

There have been no reports of any injuries.

In 1994, Tavurvur erupted at the same time as nearby Mount Vulcan, destroying Rabaul.

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