"The situation has eased except for the rumbling and roaring as rocks are shot into the air."
Rabaul International Hotel operations manager Rodney Aua said police were out in force to prevent any looting as businesses closed their doors.
"In Rabaul some people have closed their businesses and are moving to areas as far away as possible," he told AFP.
"The police are there to make sure looting doesn't happen again, like in 1994."
The 688-metre (2,270-foot) volcano has erupted several times before, notably 20 years ago.
In 1994, major eruptions at both Tavurvur and nearby Mount Vulcan destroyed much of Rabaul, with falling ash causing buildings to collapse, and while loss of life was minimal due to a quick evacuation, looters ransacked the town.
Despite the volcano continuing to rumble, Aua said the hotel still had 50 percent occupancy and for locals it was just another day in PNG, which sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire" and where high volcanic and seismic activity is the norm.
"The situation is pretty calm," he said. "For locals most of us have grown up here and this is normal, although we haven't seen this sort of activity for a while."