Philippine volcano spews ash and steam, alarms villagers

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A volcano southeast of the Philippine capital spewed ash and steam about a kilometer (half a mile) into the sky in a brief steam-driven explosion on Sunday, scattering ash in nearby villages and alarming residents, officials said.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology raised the alert level at Mount Bulusan in Sorsogon province following the 17-minute blast but added there was no sign of an impending .

One of the country’s most , Bulusan has been showing signs of unrest with on-and-off ash and steam explosions in recent years.

“It is currently in an abnormal condition,” the government volcanology institute said of Bulusan and asked people to stay away from a 4-kilometer (2.4-mile) permanent danger zone around the volcano.

Ashfalls hit at least seven villages in and near the coastal town of Juban at the foot of Bulusan where people were asked to stay indoors and wear masks. Motorists were advised to drive cautiously on ash- and mud-covered roads.

Officials said they were assessing whether to evacuate residents, especially , the elderly and children, from ashfall-hit villages.

Outside the permanent danger zone, the volcanology institute warned people including those living on the vulnerable southeastern side of the volcano to stay alert “due to the increased possibilities of sudden and hazardous phreatic eruptions.”

Villagers living in valleys and along rivers and streams were warned to watch out for volcanic mudflows amid the rainy season. Aircraft were advised not fly close to the volcano in Sorsogon, which is about 600 kilometers (373 miles) southeast of Manila.

The Philippine archipelago, which has about two dozen active volcanoes, lies on the Pacific Ocean’s “Ring of Fire,” where volcanic activity and earthquakes are common.



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Philippine volcano spews ash and steam, alarms villagers (2022, June 5)

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Hexbyte Glen Cove Indonesia volcano eruption death toll rises to 14 (Update)

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The eruption of Java’s biggest mountain caught locals by surprise on Saturday, sending thousands fleeing.

Rescuers in Indonesia raced to find survivors in villages blanketed by molten ash Sunday after the eruption of Mount Semeru killed at least 14 people and left dozens injured.

The eruption of the biggest mountain on the island of Java caught locals by surprise on Saturday, sending thousands fleeing and forcing hundreds of families into makeshift shelters.

At least 11 villages of Lumajang district in East Java were coated in volcanic ash, submerging houses and vehicles, smothering livestock and leaving at least 1,300 evacuees seeking shelter in mosques, schools and village halls.

“We did not know it was hot mud,” said Bunadi, a resident of Kampung Renteng, a village of about 3,000 people. “All of a sudden, the sky turned dark as rains and hot smoke came.”

Dramatic footage showed Semeru pumping a mushroom of ash into the sky that loomed over screaming residents of a nearby village as they fled.

“The number of victims who died until now is 14 people,” national disaster mitigation agency spokesman Abdul Muhari told a press conference Sunday.

Two of the victims have been identified, he said in an earlier statement.

At least 56 people including two pregnant women were injured in the eruption, health officials said, and most suffered serious burns.

Residents flee the eruption.

President Joko Widodo on Sunday ordered a rapid emergency response to find victims after the scale of the disaster became clear, said state secretary Pratikno, who like many Indonesians goes by only one name.

As many as 10 trapped people were rescued from areas surrounding Lumajang, Muhari said, as villagers and rescuers worked through the night to find anyone alive or retrieve bodies.

But the rescue efforts were hindered by hot ash and debris, with evacuations temporarily suspended on Sunday due to ash clouds, Indonesia’s Metro TV reported, highlighting the difficulty of the operation.

The country’s geological agency said rain is expected in the next three days that could further hinder rescue work.

There is also a risk of the rain causing ash sediment to form a new river of hot lava, the country’s top volcanologist Surono told the TV station.

‘Mud flow’

Many people who sustained burns had mistaken the hot mud flow for floods so stayed in their villages, said Lumajang Public Order Agency spokesman Adi Hendro.

Map of Indonesia locating Mount Semeru, which erupted on Saturday.

“They did not have time to run away,” he told AFP.

Authorities said they are still trying to confirm the whereabouts of at least nine people.

Lava mixed with debris and heavy rain destroyed at least one bridge in Lumajang, preventing rescuers from accessing the area.

Emergency services footage showed a desolate scene in the village of Kampung Renteng, with rescue workers toiling surrounded by buckled buildings and fallen trees.

“There were 10 people carried away by the mud flow,” said Salim, another resident of the village.

“One of them was almost saved. He was told to run away but said, ‘I can’t, who will feed my cows?'”

Wrecked homes

In other areas, villagers desperately tried to salvage their belongings from wrecked homes, carting mattresses and furniture on their shoulders while others carried goats in their arms.

Evacuees take shelter at a mosque in Lumajang after the eruption of Mount Semeru.

Locals have been advised not to travel within five kilometres (3.1 miles) of Semeru’s crater, as the nearby air is highly polluted and could affect vulnerable groups, Muhari said.

Ash spewed by the volcano travelled up to four kilometres away, Indonesia’s geological agency reported, reaching as far as the Indian Ocean in the southern part of Java.

The volcano’s alert status has remained at its second-highest level since its previous major eruption in December 2020, which also forced thousands to flee and wrecked villages.

The head of Indonesia’s centre for volcanology said it warned officials on Thursday about increased volcanic activity.

Indonesia sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, where the meeting of continental plates causes high volcanic and seismic activity, and the country has nearly 130 active volcanoes.

In late 2018, an eruption in the strait between Java and Sumatra islands caused an underwater landslide and tsunami that killed more than 400 people.



© 2021 AFP

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Indonesia volcano eruption death toll rises to 14 (Update) (2021, December 5)
retrieved 6 December 2021
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Hexbyte Glen Cove New lava lake lets DR Congo volcano 'breathe', experts say thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove New lava lake lets DR Congo volcano ‘breathe’, experts say

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After the eruption in late May, the disappearance of lava from the crater had sparked fears that it remained buried under Goma.

The reappearance of a lava lake in the crater of the Nyiragongo volcano in eastern DR Congo is a good sign, experts said Sunday, four months after a major eruption killed 32 people.

Nyiragongo’s eruption on May 22-23 spewed out lava that buried homes in its wake, stopping just short of the northern outskirts of Goma, a city of some 600,000 people.

Celestin Kasereka Mahinda, the scientific director of the Goma Volcanology Observatory, said the “reappearance of the lava lake in Nyiragongo’s crater” dates from September 18.

“It is not a phenomenon that presents an imminent risk of a new eruption, but rather a phenomenon that allows the volcano to breathe,” he told AFP.

“It is a natural sign. The appearance of this lake of fire in the crater will minimise earthquakes in the volcanic area of Goma.”

Nyiragongo, a strato-volcano nearly 3,500 metres (11,500 feet) high, straddles the East African Rift tectonic divide.

In the days following the eruption in May, mighty tremors shook Goma, and scientists feared a rare but potentially —a “limnic eruption” under nearby Lake Kivu that would send , dissolved in the depths of the water, up to the surface and suffocate everyone in the vicinity.

The Democratic Republic of Congo authorities ordered the evacuation of 400,000 people as a precaution. The residents have largely returned since fell back.

After the eruption, the disappearance of lava from the crater sparked fears that it remained buried under Goma.

“Today Nyiragongo found a way to breathe, which is a good sign,” Mahinda said.

“Fear would have persisted if the volcanic chimney remained blocked.”

In the previous in 2002, around 100 people died and swathes of eastern Goma were destroyed.

Nyiragongo’s deadliest , in 1977, claimed more than 600 lives.



© 2021 AFP

Citation:
New lava lake lets DR Congo volcano ‘breathe’, experts say (2021, September 26)
retrieved 27 September 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-09-lava-lake-dr-congo-volcano.html

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Hexbyte Glen Cove Spanish volcano still packs a punch 5 days after eruption thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Spanish volcano still packs a punch 5 days after eruption

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Residents look from a hill as lava continues to flow from an erupted volcano, on the island of La Palma in the Canaries, Spain, Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. A volcano in Spain’s Canary Islands continues to produce explosions and spew out lava, five days after it erupted. Two rivers of lava continue to slide slowly down the hillside of La Palma on Friday. Credit: AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti

A volcano in Spain’s Canary Islands kept nerves on edge Friday for a fifth day since it erupted, producing loud explosions, a huge ash cloud and cracking open a new fissure that spewed out more fiery molten rock.

The archipelago’s emergency services ordered the evacuation of scores of people from three villages on the island of La Palma and ordered residents to stay indoors in another. Already this week, almost 7,000 people have had to leave their homes. The prompt evacuations are credited with helping avoid casualties.

Loud bangs from the volcano’s mouth sent shock waves echoing across the hillsides. Explosions hurled molten rock and ash over a wide expanse. As a precaution, emergency services pulled back from the area.

Regional airline Binter temporarily halted flights due to a huge ash cloud that rose 6 kilometers (almost 4 miles) into the sky.

More encouragingly, Spain’s National Geographic Institute said it hadn’t recorded any earthquakes in the area for 24 hours, after registering 1,130 over the past week amid intense seismic activity before and after the eruption on the Cumbre Vieja volcanic ridge.

Also, the advance of the main river of lava slithering toward the sea slowed to 1 meter (about 3 feet) per hour.

Both of the main lava flows are at least 10 meters (33 feet) high at their leading edges and have been destroying houses, farmland and infrastructure in their path since Sunday.

  • Residents look from a hill as the lava from a volcano eruption flows on the island of La Palma in the Canaries, Spain, Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. A volcano on a small Spanish island in the Atlantic Ocean erupted on Sunday, forcing the evacuation of thousands of people. Experts say the volcanic eruption and its aftermath on a Spanish island could last for up to 84 days. Credit: AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti
  • Lava from a volcano eruption surrounds a house on the island of La Palma in the Canaries, Spain, Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021. A volcano on a small Spanish island in the Atlantic Ocean erupted on Sunday, forcing the evacuation of thousands of people. Experts say the volcanic eruption and its aftermath on a Spanish island could last for up to 84 days. Credit: AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti, Pool
  • Residents leave their house as lava continues to flow from an erupted volcano, in La Mancha on the island of La Palma in the Canaries, Spain, Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. A volcano in Spain’s Canary Islands continues to produce explosions and spew out lava, five days after it erupted. Two rivers of lava continue to slide slowly down the hillside of La Palma on Friday. Credit: AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti
  • Residents watch from a hill as lava continues to flow from an erupted volcano, on the island of La Palma in the Canaries, Spain, Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. A volcano in Spain’s Canary Islands continues to produce explosions and spew out lava, five days after it erupted. Two rivers of lava continue to slide slowly down the hillside of La Palma on Friday. Credit: AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti

The lava has destroyed almost 400 buildings on La Palma, including many homes, on the western side of the island of 85,000 people, a European Union monitoring program said.

It said the lava stretches over 180 hectares (almost 20,000 square feet) and has blocked 14 kilometers (9 miles) of roads. Islanders make a living mostly from farming and tourism, and some may lose their livelihoods.

On a visit to La Palma, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced a package of measures to help get the island back on its feet and “rebuild lives.”

The Spanish government will provide aid for rebuilding homes and public infrastructure, such as roads, irrigation networks and schools, as well as relaunching the island’s tourism industry, Sánchez said. He did not say how much money would be made available, but said a Cabinet meeting next week would provide more details.

Scientists say the flows could last for weeks or months.



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Spanish volcano still packs a punch 5 days after eruption (2021, September 24)
retrieved 25 September 2021
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Hexbyte Glen Cove Thousands flee as volcano erupts on Caribbean island of St Vincent thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Thousands flee as volcano erupts on Caribbean island of St Vincent

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The 4,049-foot La Soufriere, pictured in January 2021, had not erupted in more than 40 years

A volcano that has been dormant for decades erupted Friday on Saint Vincent, darkening skies over the Caribbean island and forcing thousands of panicked locals to flee to safety.

The blast from La Soufriere, the highest peak in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, sent plumes of hot ash and smoke 20,000 feet (6,000 meters) into the air, the local emergency management agency said.

Video posted on the website news784.com showed a tower of ash being belched out and expanding into a ball shape as it rose upwards. No deaths or injuries have been reported.

“Please leave the red zone immediately. La Soufriere has erupted. Ash fall recorded as far as Argyle International Airport,” the National Emergency Management Organization said. The airport and volcano are at opposite ends of the 18-mile long island.

The 4,049-foot La Soufriere—French for “sulphur mine”—had not erupted since 1979 and its largest blow-up happened over a century ago, killing more than 1,000 people in 1902.

It had been rumbling for months before it finally blew.

It is now likely to keep erupting for days or weeks, scientists at the University of the West Indies, in Trinidad and Tobago, tweeted.

“Once there is one explosive eruption it is likely others can occur,” the university’s seismological research center said.

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves started issuing evacuation orders late Thursday for residents in so-called red zones, home to some 16,000 people on the biggest island in the archipelago. The total population of the chain is about 100,000.

“Persons living in the ‘Red Zones’ are strongly advised to pack a quantity of personal items, secure your homes and animals; and be ready to be evacuated immediately,” police said in a statement after the eruption.

Zen Punnett, who lives on the island, said people panicked Thursday night as the evacuation orders came out but things were calmer Friday.

Map locating Saint Vincent’s La Soufriere volcano, which erupted April 9

“I can feel and hear rumbling here in the green safe zone. We can see a huge ball of smoke. Keeping calm as much as possible and praying,” Punnett said Friday.

Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises said in a press release they were sending two ships to assist the evacuation effort.

‘Scared out of their wits’

Gonsalves said two more ships from cruise liner company Carnival were also on their way.

Those evacuated would be taken to shelters elsewhere in the island chain or other Caribbean territories that have offered assistance, such as Barbados and Saint Lucia, according to local media.

Philmore Mullin, director of Antigua and Barbuda’s National Office of Disaster Services, told AFP the twin island nation was ready to receive evacuees from Saint Vincent.

He said between 12,000 and 15,000 people had already moved out of the red zones.

“I know for sure they will be scared out of their wits. The question is, what will happen after they move? Volcanoes don’t tell you what they are thinking,” said Mullin.

“If it continues to erupt for a long time it will be life-changing for them. And, depending on the type of eruption, they might not be able to get back home for years.”

The Royal Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force (RSVGPF) said in a statement quoted by local media that all officers had been told to report for duty immediately.

“All members of the (RSVGPF) and its auxiliary forces who are currently on vacation leave are hereby informed that all leave has been canceled with immediate effect,” the release said.

Sirens sounded out on one side of the island of as traffic became gridlocked on the other in the rush to escape, local news portal Searchlight reported.



© 2021 AFP

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Thousands flee as volcano erupts on Caribbean island of St Vincent (2021, April 9)
retrieved 9 April 2021
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Hexbyte Glen Cove Icelandic volcano subsiding after first eruption in 900 years thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Icelandic volcano subsiding after first eruption in 900 years

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Lava flowing from the erupting Fagradalsfjall volcano

A volcano that spewed glowing red lava near Iceland’s capital Reykjavik after awakening for the first time in 900 years appeared to be subsiding on Saturday, posing no danger to people, experts said.

Streams of red lava bubbled and flowed out of a fissure in a valley in Geldingadalur, close to Mount Fagradalsfjall on the Reykjanes peninsula in southwestern Iceland.

As the lava flow slowed under rain showers on Saturday, a blue gas plume and a vapour cloud rose from the site, just 40 kilometres (25 miles) from the capital and near a popular tourist destination, the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa.

The eruption occurred on Friday around 2045 GMT, lighting up the night sky with a crimson glow as hundreds of small earthquakes shook the area.

While Iceland’s Keflavik International Airport and the small fishing port of Grindavik are just a few kilometres away, the zone is uninhabited and the eruption did not present any danger to the public.

“The eruption is considered small at this stage and the volcanic activity has somewhat decreased since yesterday evening,” the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO), which monitors seismic activity, said in a statement on Saturday.

It said the “eruptive fissure” measured approximately 500 to 700 metres (1,640 to 2,300 feet).

The red shimmer from magma flowing out of a fissure in a valley in Geldingadalur

The lava area, it added, was less than one square kilometre (0.4 square mile), with small lava fountains.

Speaking to reporters, University of Iceland geophysicist Magnus Tumi Gudmundsson described the valley as an “ideal” spot for the eruption, likening it to “a bathtub the lava can slowly leak into.”

IMO earthquake hazards coordinator Kristin Jonsdottir meanwhile said it was “very likely the eruption will last for the next few days”.

Friday’s eruption took place in the Krysuvik volcanic system, which does not have a central volcano, about five kilometres inland from the southern coast.

Sigurdur Kristmundsson, a 54-year-old Grindavik port official, told AFP that locals were exhilarated by the eruption.

“Nobody is in danger or anything like that. So I think people are excited and not afraid of it.”

Dramatic images showed streams of red lava bubbling up from the ground

Dormant for 900 years

Access to the area was initially blocked off but later opened to the public, though Iceland’s Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management stressed the several-hour hike from the nearest road was only recommended for those “used to being outdoors in difficult conditions.”

Gases from a volcanic eruption—especially sulphur dioxide—can be elevated in the immediate vicinity, and may pose a danger to health and even be fatal.

Gas pollution can also be carried by the wind.

“Currently gas pollution is not expected to cause much discomfort for people except close up to the source of the eruption. The gas emissions will be monitored closely,” the IMO said.

The Krysuvik system has been inactive for the past 900 years, according to the IMO, while the last eruption on the Reykjanes peninsula dates back almost 800 years and lasted about 30 years, from 1210 to 1240.

Iceland volcano erupts

But the region had been under increased surveillance for several weeks after a 5.7-magnitude earthquake was registered on February 24 near Mount Keilir on the outskirts of Reykjavik.

Since then more than 50,000 smaller tremors had been registered, and magma was detected just one kilometre under the Earth’s surface in recent days near Fagradalsfjall.

Geophysicist Gudmundsson said the eruption signalled a new period “which may last centuries with eruptions, possibly 10 years to 100 years apart.”

Land of fire and ice

Iceland has 32 volcanic systems currently considered active, the highest number in Europe. The country has had an eruption every five years on average.

The vast island near the Arctic Circle straddles the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, a crack on the ocean floor separating the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates.

Iceland has 32 volcanic systems currently considered active, the highest number in Europe

The shifting of these plates is in part responsible for Iceland’s intense volcanic activity.

The most recent eruption was at Holuhraun, beginning in August 2014 and ending in February 2015, in the Bardarbunga volcanic system in an uninhabited area in the centre of the island.

That eruption did not cause any major disruptions outside the immediate vicinity.

But in 2010, an eruption at the Eyjafjallajokull volcano sent huge clouds of smoke and ash into the atmosphere, disrupting air traffic for more than a week and cancelling more than 100,000 flights worldwide, which left some 10 million passengers stranded.



© 2021 AFP

Citation:
Icelandic volcano subsiding after first eruption in 900 years (2021, March 20)
retrieved 21 March 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-03-icelandic-volcano-erupts-night-sky.html

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