Saturday, April 26, 2008

Indonesia is about to suffer more volcano eruptions

Indonesia raised its alert for Anak Krakatau, successor to the volcano that blew up the island of Krakatau in 1883, and Ibu to the second-highest level after the two began spewing ash.

Anak Krakatau, in the Sunda Straits between Java and Sumatra, and Ibu, in the Moluccan Islands in eastern Indonesia, were placed on ``orange'' alert in the four-step color code, the Department of Energy and Mineral Resources said yesterday. It recommended people not come within 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) of the volcanoes.

The explosion 125 years ago of Krakatau, also known as Krakatoa, left two-thirds of the island under water, generated 130-foot waves and killed an estimated 36,000 people. It blasted enough debris into the atmosphere to lower global temperatures for several years.

Anak Krakatau, or ``child of Krakatau,'' has been rising from the sea since 1930 and its peak is now more than 300 meters above sea level. Mount Ibu, on the island of Halmahera, had a small explosive eruption in

The alerts for Anak Krakatau and Ibu followed the April 15 announcement that Mount Egon on the island of Flores, east of Java, had been raised to ``orange'' after it spewed ash. Evacuations were ordered around the volcano.

Indonesia is located on the western side of the so-called Pacific Rim of Fire, an arc of volcanoes and geologic fault lines surrounding the Pacific Basin. The country has had two of the world's biggest volcanic eruptions in the past 200 years, Mount Tambora in 1815 and Krakatau.

To contact the reporters on this story:
Naila Firdausi in Jakarta at

Volcanic activity was observed in Thailand

Small quantities of molten rock erupted near a habitation at Sendhwa near Indore, leaving neighbourhoods awestruck.Locals said the eruption began with a small explosion on Tuesday causing a two-feel wide gap in the soil.

The eruptions continued with less intensity on Wednesday with the lava cooling around causing a small hump like structure.People from places in the vicinity rushed to the spot to watch the natural phenomenon.“When I got to know about this volcano, we came here to see this.

We saw that this vermilion coloured eruption coming out of the volcano. I have never seen something of this sort before. And after cooling, the lava turns black,” said Sandeep Aggarwal.

Local administration on receiving the news immediately rushed to the spot.Police cordoned off the area and fire brigade was called as a precautionary measure to meet possibility of fire breaking out.

The eruptions have considerably declined but the authorities are reportedly making arrangements for investigating the cause of the eruptions.

Colombian volcano erupts causing evacuation

Authorities are evacuating thousands of people after a volcano in Colombia erupted in a shower of hot ash.

There were no reports of damage or injuries from the eruption at the Nevado del Huila, about 150 miles southwest of Bogota.

Caracol Radio reported that between 13,000 and 15,000 people who live near the volcano were being evacuated.

The eruption took place at 1:08 a.m. EDT Tuesday, according to the Colombian Institute of Geology and Mining.

Martha Calvache, deputy director of the institute's seismic department, told Caracol Radio that authorities were unable to estimate the size of the eruptions.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Underwater volcano discovered in Iceland

Volcanologist Ármann Höskuldsson from the University of Iceland and a team of scientists recently discovered a giant volcano off Reykjanes peninsula, southwest Iceland, almost as as large as the peninsula itself, and expect it to erupt at any time.

In the center of the volcano there is a caldera measuring ten kilometers in diameter.

“People shouldn’t be surprised if there would be an extensive volcanic eruption underwater there soon. Nothing has happened for hundreds of years and it is in fact only a matter of time before there will be an eruption,” Höskuldsson told DV.

Since the volcano is at a depth of 1,500 meters eruptions would not have any effect on Iceland, except perhaps causing earthquakes.

The volcano’s discovery is considered significant because geographers believed it couldn’t exist in that area. “Such large volcanoes are not located on oceanic ridges. They are always drifting apart and that prevents a volcano from being created. This is why the volcano’s existence came as a surprise,” Höskuldsson said.

In summer, Höskuldsson and his team will present the conclusions of their studies at the annual conference of the International Association of Volcanologists, which will be held in Iceland. Nine hundred people have already registered for the conference.

In summer 2009 they plan use a small submarine to undertake more detailed research of the underwater volcano.

Four volconoes erupt in Russia

Four volcanoes of Kamchatka – Gorely, Mutnovsky, Karymsky and Shiveluch – have simultaneously started eruption. Hundreds of separate shocks were detected in the volcanic area.

The Kamchatka Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences Geophysical Service told Vostok Media, weak eruptions and pyroclastic flows (a mix of hot gas and rock) are being seen on the slopes.

Scientists consider the increase of eruptions possible especially in view of high activity of Shiveluch – the most active volcano in resent years.

Volcano museum to reopen in Hawaii

Visitors to Kilauea volcano are now being allowed to drive and hike to Jagger Museum.
Officials say as long as the trade winds continue to blow sulfur dioxide away from the erupting volcano, the museum, overlook and bookstore will remain open.

Rangers at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park are monitoring pollution levels.

The museum building is open from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. The bookstore closes at 5 p.m.
The overlook and restrooms are open 24 hours a day.

An increase in sulfur dioxide emissions from the volcano's Halemaumau crater has created hazardous conditions downwind.

Officials say the weather could change anytime.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Kilauea's eruption increases tourism

Visitors are flocking to witness the spectacular eruption at Hawaii's Kilauea volcano, despite explosions and toxic fumes.

Nearly 9,000 people a day are touring Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on average so far this year, a 2.5 percent increase over last year when the volcano's 25-year eruption was much more peaceful, said Cindy Orlando, the park's superintendent.

"Everybody's coming. I think they recognize they have an opportunity to participate and be here at a very historic time," Orlando said. "They're witnessing the creation of earth, and you can't experience that anywhere else in the world."

Inside Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, viewers can see the plume of ash and sulfur dioxide rising from Halemaumau Crater, which spewed small blobs of lava that fell along its rim this week and exploded gas and gravel-sized rocks on the summit last week — the first such burst from Kilauea's main crater since 1924.

Outside the park along the southeast edge of the Big Island, as many as 10,000 visitors in one day have come to see fresh lava collide with the ocean, creating a giant cloud of steam, according to county and park officials. A new lookout point allows viewers to get about 600 feet from the lava flow.

Emergency officials are preparing to evacuate the area if the winds change, moving the fumes' course inland toward areas with a scattered population approaching 10,000. So far, Hawaii's famous tradewinds are pushing the plume to the southwest.

The highly concentrated levels of sulfur dioxide could pose serious health risks, especially to people with existing respiratory problems. State health officials say the gas has not posed serious problems so far because it is blowing more toward the ocean.

"It's unpredictable. The last several months have been extremely unusual, and perhaps the most exciting activity on Kilauea in decades," said Tim Orr, a geologist at Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

Most of the national park remains open, including the visitor center. But closed areas include all trails leading to Halemaumau Crater and part of Crater Rim Drive near the ash-laden toxic gas plume.

The volcano has not given rangers reason to believe it's about to blow because there's no visible lava in the crater itself, little seismic activity and no surface swell, Orlando said.

"As long as the winds stay as they are, there is no danger," she said. "The park is Hawaii's gift to the world, so we want to keep the area open as long as we can."

Park ranger Arnold Nakata said he's trying to allow as many people as possible to view the volcano's recent activity while ensuring their safety.

"This kind of activity is inevitable," Nakata said of the changing lava flows. "It's minute-to-minute. At any given time, this could stop and change."

Volcano erupts under water in New Zealand area

You wouldn't know it but a large volcano eruption is taking place in New Zealand.

It's not visible because Monowai is completely underwater - north of the Kermadec Islands, and is about 1500 metres deep.

Its conical cone reaches to just 120 metres below the surface of the Pacific.

French Polynesia's Laboratoire de Geophysique is taking recordings of what is going on and Dr Oliviere Hyvernaud told Fairfax they recorded a "big acoustic event on February 8".

He added it was strong "but not a monster".

Monowai was in an eruptive phase but it was difficult to say whether it was a strong eruption.

In New Zealand GNS Science geologist Cornel de Ronde said French Polynesia sees the sound signals more easily than stations in New Zealand.

Monowai has erupted regularly over the years, he said.

Dr Ian Wright of the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research has closely studied Monowai and in a paper to be published in the international Journal of Geophysical Research argues that in May 2002 the volcano itself collapsed creating an "explosive interaction and cooling of hot magma and volcaniclastic rubble with ambient seawater".

Dr de Ronde said Monowai was similar to Mount St Helen's in the United States which collapsed and then rebuilt itself over time.

The latest activity has gone unnoticed on the surface as its location is off the main shipping routes.
In previous years Royal New Zealand Air Force over flights have spotted large sulphur slicks.
What was thought to be a shoal of fish was first reported in the area in 1944 but it was not until 1977 that it was recognised as a volcano.

It was surveyed by HMNZS Monowai, thus its name.

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