"Popondetta - North of the Mountains" Popondetta by Bwana_Brown
Popondetta Travel Guide: 10 reviews and 12 photos
Popondetta, the small capital of Oro Province (formerly Northern), lies inland from the coast of the Solomon Sea on a well-drained area of fertile volcanic soil. In fact, this is the largest area of prime agricultural land on the mainland part of Papua New Guinea (please see my 'General' tip for a map of the area).
But this piece of good luck does not come without a price. The original Popondetta was destroyed in January, 1951 when the long dormant volcanic Mount Lamington suddenly erupted. At that time, the mountain was totally covered in green jungle forests and the locals were not even aware that it was a volcano. Only a few days after it began to 'burp', the mountain erupted in a massive explosion somewhat like Mount St. Helen's did. Pyroclastic flows of searing gas and ash flowed down the mountainside at 150-kph, killing everything in it's path up to almost 12-km out. It is believed that between 3000-4000 people were killed by the eruption.
The photo also shows relics of another of the early catastrophies to befall this area. Japanese forces landed here in 1942 in their attempt to conquer New Guinea and heavy fighting took place over the next few years between them and the Australians and Americans.
In my case, all was peaceful as I flew in from Port Moresby, over the 13,000-ft high (4000-m) Owen Stanley Range, to fix up a few power production problems at the local diesel electric station.
- In a nutshell:Not Much Happening Here
Whether I was flying to Popondetta or anywhere else north or east of Port Moresby, you first had to clear the 13,400 ft.... more travel advice
As we took off for Port Moresby, I was surprised to see these aircraft revetments still very much visible, as a white... more travel advice
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