Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Lake turns red as Mount Manaro shows signs of activity
Mount Manaro, one of four volcanos currently active in the island nation of Vanuatu, has been showing signs of erupting for only the second time in 122 years.
"We are still ... trying to understand this change of colour in the lake from blue to red," Geology and Mines Department director Esline Garae told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from the Vanuatu capital, Port Vila.
She said two scientists on Ambae Island were monitoring Lake Vui, as well as seismic activity on the 1,500-meter Mt Manaro.
"If the change of color ... comes from new activity in the ground or just a chemical change in the lake- these are two things I want to know from those guys before I can say anything" about the danger posed by the volcano, she said.
Mt Manaro last erupted in November 2005, forcing half the island's 10,000 inhabitants to evacuate their villages but causing no injuries. The eruption before that, in 1884, killed scores of villagers.
Three other volcanos in Vanuatu- Lopevi, Yasur and a two-crater volcano on Ambryn Island called Marum and Benbow- have spewed rocks, ash, smoke and steam over the South Pacific island nation in recent weeks.
However, activity has slowed in recent days, Garae said.