Air travel was disrupted as airlines had to divert flights from the airspace. The eruption threw a tower of ash from the top of Mount Tavurvur on East New Britain Island, the cloud reaching some 60,000 feet above sea level.
The closest major town, Rabaul, was not evacuated; but residents there were warned to stay indoors to avoid falling ash. No injuries have yet been reported.
A volcano also erupted in Iceland Friday, prompting officials there to raise the air travel alert to red. But when it became clear little to no ash had been released, the alert was downgraded to orange.