Madang Province, Papua New Guinea
In November and December 2004 a large series of eruptions of Manam volcano forced the evacuation of the whole island. This was the first full-scale evacuation of the island, and has put the unique culture of the people at risk.
Manam Island society is ruled by a hereditary chief known as the Kukurai. The Kukurai exerts a dominating influence over the people. He arranges marriage and the people follow his rulings in all matters. During the evacuation of Manam Island in 2004, the authorities had to get the approval of the kukurai before the people would leave.
John Seach was the first scientist to reach Manam volcano eruption in 2004