Kokopo: Papua New Guinea’s volatile Ulawun volcano — designated one of the world’s most hazardous — began spewing ash Wednesday, turning the sky dark, sending residents fleeing and prompting an eruption warning. The volcano on the remote Bismarck Archipelago chain is listed as one of 16 “Decade Volcanoes” targeted for research because they pose a significant risk of large, violent eruptions. “The volcanic activity at Mt Ulawun began at 7:00 am this morning after slight rumbling and light emission,” Leo Porikura, an official with the West New Britain Disaster Office, said. Also Read – Merkel warns UK Brexit deal ‘unlikely’ without compromise: London”The Rabaul Volcano Observatory has declared a stage one alert warning of a possible eruption.” Witnesses reported ash spewing out of the 2,334 metre (7,657 foot) summit, sending trails spanning high overhead. “The sky has turned black,” said Kingsly Quou, manager of the nearby Mavo Estates palm plantation. Quou said that villagers living at the base of the volcano had already been evacuated and he and his colleagues were gathering their belongings. Japanese satellite imagery and sources on the ground had shown sulphur dioxide and now volcanic ash drifting from the crater.