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Kilauea Lava Flow Could Affect Thousands on Hawaiʻi Island

Posted by feww on September 5, 2014

SCENARIOS 787, 444, 070, 047, 017, 07, 02

Lava from Kilauea Volcano advancing 250 meters per day

Hawai‘i County Mayor has signed a state of emergency proclamation due to  the advancing lava flow in the Wao Kele O Puna area after the flow extended to less than 1.5km from the edge of the Ka‘ohe Homesteads subdivision, said the mayor’s office.

It’s believed that at least 8,211 people (based on 2010 Census) residing in the subdivision of Hawaiian Beaches are directly threatened by the lava flow. However, the number is unrepresentative of the present population since the District of Puna is the fastest growing population in the State, said the Mayor’s Proclamation.

“We are taking this step to ensure our residents have time to prepare their families, their pets, and their livestock for a safe and orderly evacuation from Ka‘ohe in the event the flow continues to advance,” said Mayor Kenoi.

No evacuation orders have yet been issued, said Hawaii County Civil Defense; however, the risk of lava flow affecting the  subdivision is increasing daily.

Kilauea Volcano Warning Issued by Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)

Thursday, September 4, 2014, 10:45 AM HST (2014-09-04 @ 20:45UTC)

Volcanic Activity Summary: On June 27, 2014, new vents opened on the northeast flank of the Pu‘u ‘O‘o cone that fed a narrow lava flow to the east-northeast. On August 18, the flow entered a ground crack, traveled underground for several days, then resurfaced to form a small lava pad. The sequence was repeated twice more over the following days with lava entering other cracks and reappearing farther downslope. In this way, the flow had advanced approximately 13.2 km (8.2 miles) from the vent, or to within 1.3 km (0.8 miles) of the eastern boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve, by the afternoon of September 3. Overnight, lava did not appear to advance farther east within the crack system, but surface flows advanced about 100 m to the northeast. At the average rate of advancement of 250 m/day (820 ft/day) since July 10, we project that lava could reach the Kaohe Homesteads boundary within 5-7 days should lava resume advancing within the crack system.

Kaohe Homesteads is located between the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve and the town of Pāhoa in the Puna District of the County of Hawai`i.

Current Volcano Alert Level: WARNING
Current Aviation Color Code: ORANGE

Recent Observations:
[Volcanic cloud height] SO2, low ash emissions continue from Kīlauea caldera, TFR in place.
[Other volcanic cloud information] none
[Lava flow/dome] June 27th Lava Flow continues to advance.

Hazard Analysis:
[Lava flow/dome] Lava Flow from Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō vent could advance to Kaohe Homesteads within a week.

Remarks: The Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō vent in the East Rift Zone of Kīlauea Volcano began erupting on January 3, 1983, and has continued erupting for more than 31 years, with the majority of lava flows advancing to the south. Over the past two years, lava flows have issued from the vent toward the northeast. The June 27th flow is the most recent of these flows and the first to threaten a residential area since 2010-2011.

June 27th lava flow front reemerges from ground crack, continues advancing eastward (HVO)

The June 27th lava flow remains active, with lava at the flow front issuing from a ground crack and advancing through thick forest, creating dense plumes of smoke. The farthest lava this afternoon was 13.2 km (8.2 miles) from the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and 1.3 km (0.8 miles) from the eastern boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna forest reserve. This forest reserve boundary is at the western boundary of Kaohe Homesteads subdivision, a portion of which is visible at the bottom of the photograph. (Source: HVO)

The surface flows at the front of the June 27th lava flow are fed by lava that is supplied through a lava tube that originates at the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō. This thermal image shows the lava tube close to Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Although the lava is several meters (yards) beneath the surface, it heats the surface sufficiently to be easily detected with thermal cameras. 

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Significant Earthquake Strikes Bardarbunga System

Posted by feww on August 31, 2014

SCENARIOS 023, 017, 09, 08, 07

M5.1 quake occurs at northern rim of  Bardarbunga caldera: IMO

Centered at 64.675°N, 17.415°W, about 6.6km NE of Bardarbunga, the quake occurred at a depth of 5.2 km [USGS/EHP: 64.723°N 17.390°W depth=7.5km] on Sunday at 12:01:45GMT, said Iceland Met Office (IMO).

The quake was the largest to strike Bardarbunga volcanic system since a magnitude 5.4 shock on Saturday.

Meantime, a large fissure eruption continues in Holuhraun lava field, north of Vatnajokull [Glacier of Lakes.]

“A lava eruption started in Holuhraun shortly after 04 AM, on the same volcanic fissure, which erupted earlier this week. The fissure is estimated to be 1.5 km long.”

The lava extruding from the fissure was estimated at 1 km wide, 3 km long and several meters deep, oozing down in a northeasterly direction. The flow rate was about 1,000 m3 per second, said IMO.

The Aviation Color Code for Bárðarbunga has been downgraded from “red” to “orange” [because no ash has been detected] and the alert level for Askja to “yellow,” said IMO.

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Volcano Erupts in Ogasawara Islands

Posted by feww on November 21, 2013

Warning issued to Pacific shipping after volcano erupts, forming a new Island

Authorities have warned shipping in the Pacific Ocean to maintain vigilance for airborne volcanic material after a volcano erupted near one of the Ogasawara Islands, some 1,000 kilometers south of Tokyo, NHK reported Japan’s Meteorological Agency (JMA) as saying.

Japan Coast Guard has confirmed black smoke spewing out of a new land mass about 500 meters southeast of Nishinoshima island, JMA said

Video footage shows a plume of black and white smoke and steam  rising to a height of more than 600 meters above a new landmass measuring about 200 meters across.

Ogasawara - new island formed from volcanic eruption
Black and white smoke and steam rising to a height of more than 600 meters above a new 200-m long landmass created by volcanic eruption near Nishino shima, Bonin Islands, south of Japan. Screenshot from NHK news video clip.

new volcanic island
Screenshot  from NHK news video clip.

“The agency says multiple clusters of white smoke overhead suggest intermittent explosions,” said the report.

Volcanic activity created a new island which was fused to the uninhabited Nishinoshima between 1973 and 1974, the last time when eruptions occurred near the island.

Location Map of Volcano Islands, Ogasawara Islands, Japan region. Image credit: Lim Tor

Bonin Islands (aka, Ogasawara Group, in Japan).  Click Image to Enlarge.

In 2010, one of the volcanoes in the region erupted, spewing smoke and ash to a height of about about 100 meters above the sea level. The surrounding sea area changed to a greenish-yellow color with nearby areas turning cloudy.

JMA said the volcano, called Fukutokuokanoba, had erupted seven times since 1904, forming ephemeral islands (temporary land masses) on three occasions, all of which later sank below the ocean surface.

The first known ephemeral island called Shin-Iwo-jima (New Sulfur Island) was formed in 1904, and the most recent in 1986.

What the Volcano Islands Look Like

North Iwo Jima Island (Official Japanese name Kita-iōtō, but commonly known as Kita-iōjima, meaning “north sulfur island”) is the northernmost island of the Volcano Islands cluster of the Ogasawara Islands, about 1175 km south of Tokyo. Image Credit: Chisatos

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ETNA Erupts Again, Lighting Up the Sky Over Sicily

Posted by feww on November 18, 2013

Mt ETNA erupted, shooting up towering columns of ash into the air

The eruption from Europe’s most active volcano ejected towering columns of ash and fountains of molten lava over Sicily Saturday night.

Etna, one of the most active volcanoes in the world, is in an almost constant state of activity. The eruption was the 16th paroxysmal explosion at Etna so far this year, forcing officials at Cantania Airport to close airspace above much of Sicily as a precautionary measure.

Mt Etna is the largest of the three active volcanoes in Italy, covering an area of about 1,200km², with a basal circumference of 140km.  More than a quarter of Sicily’s live on the slopes of the 3,330-meter volcano.Volcanic activity first occurred at Etna about 500,000 years ago.

A massive lava flow from an eruption in November 1928 destroyed the village of Mascali. Other major 20th-century eruptions occurred in 1949, 1971, 1981, 1983 and 1991–1993.

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Red Alert at Copahue Volcano: Argentina and Chile Order Evacuation

Posted by feww on May 28, 2013

Chile and Argentina order evacuation of 3,000 people living near Copahue

Argentine and Chilean authorities have issued a red alert, fearing that the volcano could erupt imminently.

The mandatory evacuation order covers all residents living within a 25-km radius of Copahue.

The 2,965m tall volcano began spewing volcanic gasses Friday amid heightened seismic activity, with volcanic tremors occurring at an average rate of about 450 per hour.

Copahue volcano sits in the Biobio region of Chile, straddling the border with Argentina’s Neuquen province.

This photo released by the Government of Neuquen, Monday, May 27, 2013, shows a plume of ash and smoke rise from the Copahue volcano, as seen from Caviahue, in the Argentine province of Neuquen, Friday, May 24, 2013.  (AP Photo/Government of Neuquen, Tony Huglich)

[NOTE: The most probable outcome over the next 96 hours or so can be deduced from the photo.]

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‘Red’ Alert at Copahue Volcano

Posted by feww on December 24, 2012

Copahue volcano activity could intensify

Authorities in Argentina and Chile have raised the alert at Copahue volcano  in Biobio region to the highest level after detecting continued seismic activity on Sunday.

Copahue volcano
A column of ash and smoke from Copahue volcano rises above the town of Caviahue, a popular ski resort in Neuquen province, Argentina, some 1500 km SW of the capital Buenos Aires. Photo: AFP. Image may be subject to copyright. 

  • Copahue first erupted on Saturday, showering ash on nearby villages and prompting many to evacuate.
  • “The intensity of seismic signals suggests the eruption in progress is on the smaller side [however] we cannot discount the possibility that the activity could turn into a larger eruption,” said a spokesman for the Chilean Geology and Mining Services.
  • The 2,970-meter volcano is in SW Argentina’s Neuquen province, near the Chilean border.
  • About 3,000 people live in the vicinity of the massive volcano, including  the residents of Copahue, the town of Caviahue and indigenous Mapuche communities.
  • The ash plume rose  to a height of about 1.5km (5,000ft) above the crater, said Chile’s emergency office (ONEMI).

Related Links:

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background


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Beerenberg Volcano Could Explode

Posted by feww on May 25, 2012

FIRE-EARTH FORECAST: Beerenberg Volcano on Jan Mayen Island Could Erupt Explosively [P≥ 64%]

The 2,280-m stratovolcano located on Jan Mayen Island could erupt this year with a probability of at least 64 percent.

The 6.2Mw earthquake (72.994°N, 5.651°E; 8.8 km; Thursday, May 24, 2012 at 22:47:46 UTC) and its subsequent aftershocks that occurred in the Norwegian Sea may have primed the volcano for an explosive eruption.

Jan Mayen Island (71°N 8°30’W) featuring Beerenberg Volcano. Source: Jan Mayen

Jan Mayen (Norway) is a volcanic island  located in the north Atlantic Ocean, some 950km west of Norway and 600 km north of Iceland. The view of the island is dominated by the active volcano Beerenberg (2,280m), which last erupted in 1985, emitting an estimated total of about 2  x 107 m3 of lava and other volcanic matter.

Earthquake and Volcano Links

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Iceland’s Grímsvötn volcano erupts

Posted by feww on May 22, 2011

Grímsvötn volcano, Iceland’s most active, has started erupting

A large plume of smoke and ash was ejected to a height of about 20km above the volcano.

The explosive eruption, which occurred at 17.30UTC on Saturday May 21, 2011, has been described as very powerful.

Grímsvötn is Iceland’s most active volcano and had previously erupted  in November 2004.

A Map of Iceland Volcanoes. Click image to enlarge.

Iceland’s Met Office Report

“Eruptions in Grímsvötn start as subglacial eruptions, which quickly break the ice cover. At 21:00 UTC, the eruption plume had risen to an altitude of over 65,000 ft (~20 km). Initially, the plume is expected to drift to the east and subsequently to the north. Thus, the ash is not expected to impact aviation in Europe, at least not during the first 24 hours.”

Eruption cloud from Grímsvötn volcano at 22:00 UTC May 21st 2011 captured by Icelandic met Office Weather Radar located at Keflavik International Airport located about 220 km from the volcano. The eruption cloud covers a large section of Vatnajökull ice cap.

Grímsvötn: “A very powerful volcano”

“Grimsvotn is a very powerful volcano, so we’re monitoring it closely, even if the last few eruptions have been harmless,” University of Iceland geophysicist Pall Einarsson told Morgunbladid.

“We do not expect this to be a big one as it’s coming from the same crater as the last three eruptions, which were all small.”

‘Not Like Last Year

“It can be a big eruption, but it is unlikely to be like last year,” Icelandic Met Office geologist Hjorleifur Sveinbjornsson told Reuters, referring Eyjafjallajokull.

Lots of Ash

“A lot of ash has been falling around the Vatnajokull glacier and nearby towns this evening. It is expected to continue through the night and maybe into tomorrow, according to Icelandic Met Office geologist, Hjorleifur Sveinbjornsson. The ash is much coarser than that which came from Eyjafjallajokull last year.” IceNews reported.

Aviation Threat

Isavia civil aviation authority has imposed a 120 nm  flight ban around the volcano, a spokesman said. “We have closed the area until we know better what effect the ash will have.”

Grímsvötn volcano erupts producing a mushroom cloud of smoke and ash. Frame grabs from video clip by Icelandic National TV station RÚV.

Probability of Eruption: April 2010 Forecast

Bárðarbunga (1903) and neighboring Grímsvötn (2004) – probability of eruption: 84 percent

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Mt. Baekdu Could Erupt: Report

Posted by feww on February 11, 2011

N.Korea ‘Preparing for Eruption of Mt. Baekdu’

Mt. Baekdu may erupt, according to North Korean authorities, Radio Free Asia reports.

Local geologists are again warning of a volcanic eruption at Mt. Baekdu, a volcano located on the border between North Korea and China.

Baitoushan Volcano, China and North Korea

Mt Baekdu Volcano, April 2003. Source: NASA/JSC

Original Caption:

One of the largest known eruptions of the modern geologic period (the Holocene) occurred at Baitoushan Volcano (also known as Changbaishan in China and P’aektu-san in Korea) about 1000 A.D., with erupted material deposited as far away as northern Japan—a distance of approximately 1,200 kilometers. The eruption also created the 4.5-kilometer-diameter, 850-meter-deep summit caldera of the volcano, which is now filled with the waters of Lake Tianchi (or Sky Lake). This oblique astronaut photograph was taken during the winter season, and snow highlights frozen Lake Tianchi and lava flow lobes along the southern face of the volcano.

Baitoushan last erupted in 1702, and geologists consider it to be dormant. Gas emissions were reported from the summit and nearby hot springs in 1994, but no evidence of renewed activity of the volcano was observed. The Chinese-Korean border runs directly through the center of the summit caldera, and the mountain is considered sacred by the predominantly Korean population living near the volcano. Lake Tianchi is a popular resort destination, both for its natural beauty and alleged sightings of unidentified creatures living in its depths (similar to the legendary Loch Ness Monster in Scotland).

Changbaishan,aka Baitoushan (Korean: Baegdu or P’aektu-san)

Country: China/Korea
Region: Eastern China
Last Known Eruption: 1903
Summit Elevation: 2,744m (9,003 feet)
Latitude: 41.98°N 41°59’0″N
Longitude: 128.08°E 128°5’0″E
Source: GVP

Mt. Baekdu Volcano eruption in 1903 (?) Source NEWSIS via Chosunilbo. Image may be to subject to copyright.

Lake Tianchi (or Sky Lake) at the summit caldera of Mt. Baekdu Volcano. Promotional photo published by N. Korean government.

“Quoting sources in Ryanggang Province, North Korea, the station said two geography professors of Kim Jung-suk University of Education involved in a Mt. Baekdu expedition team have recently been to Pyongyang to attend a seminar on Mt. Baekdu volcanic activity.” Chosunilbo reported.

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FEWW Volcanic Activity Forecast

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Mount Sinabung Erupts

Posted by feww on August 29, 2010

Lava spewing ‘like a ball of fire’

Indonesian officials have issued a red alert after Mount Sinabung on the island of Sumatra began spewing lava early Sunday morning.

Villagers ride a motorcycle while covering their mouths at the district of Tanah Karo outside the city of Medan, North Sumatra, as the Mount Sinabung volcano spews smoke in the background August 28, 2010.  Credit: Reuters/Tarmizy Harva. Image may be subject to copyright.

The volcano had been spewing smoke and ash to a height of about 1.5km a.s.l. throughout Saturday, local reports said, quoting  eye witnesses who saw lava spewing out of the volcano from 7 km away.

The authorities have evacuated up to 15,000 residents living near the volcano.

Mount Sinabung is one of Indonesia’s 130  active volcanoes, and had last erupted about 400 years ago.

The head of Indonesia’s vulcanology center was quoted by Reuters as saying:

“This is the first time since 1600 that Sinabung erupted [although there are no activities recorded] and we have little knowledge in terms on its eruptive patterns and general forms.”

The conical Sinabung volcano, seen here from the east, rises above farmlands on the Kato Plateau. Gunung Sinabung contains four summit craters, the southernmost of which is the youngest. Many prominent lava flows appear on the flanks of the volcano. No confirmed historical eruptions are known from Gunung Sinabung. Photo by Tom Casadevall, 1987 (U.S. Geological Survey). Caption: GVP

Sinabung Volcano: Summary of Details

Country: Indonesia
Region: Sumatra
Volcano Type: Stratovolcano
Volcano Status: Holocene
Last Known Eruption: Unknown [1600?]
Summit Elevation: 2,460
Latitude: 3.17°N
Longitude: 98.392°E
Source: GVP

Sinabung is located in Group K Volcanoes

Map of Volcanoes.
Background Map: University of Michigan. Designed and enhanced by Fire Earth Blog. Click image to enlarge.

Sinabung volcano, seen from Gurukinayan village on the south, shows prominent lava flows on its flanks and a dramatic summit spine. The summit of Gunung Sinabung is much less frequently visited than neighboring Sabayak volcano to the NE. Photo by S. Wikartadipura, 1982 (Volcanological Survey of Indonesia). Source: GVP.

Approximate location of Sinabung is marked  on the map by FEWW.

The volcano is located about 260km east of the epicenter of the 9.1 – 9.3Mw earthquake which struck off the coast of Sumatra on December 26, 2004, triggering the deadly Boxing Day Tsunami.

Related Links:

FEWW Volcanic Activity Forecast

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Galeras Alert Level Raised to “Orange”

Posted by feww on December 11, 2009

Galeras Volcano Could Erupt Anytime!

Colombia’s Galeras activity has intensified signifying an eruption may be imminent—INGEOMINAS

Galeras seen in this aerial photo (Undated). Source: Alaska Earthquake Information center. Image may be subject to copyright.

In June this year FEWW Forecast:

Galeras could erupt continually throughout 2009  and most of 2010 AND it hasn’t disappointed yet!

The Colombian Institute of Mining and Geology (INGEOMINAS), raised alert level Thursday to ‘Orange’ in the area near Galeras volcano, expecting it to erupt soon.

INGEOMINAS said Galeras activity has intensified signifying an eruption may be imminent within days or weeks. Adding that the volcano was showing recurrent episodes of intense seismic activity.

The authorities have evacuated about 8,000 residents from the hazard zones near the volcano.

In June 2009 Galeras volcano erupted twice in 24 hours , covering nearby villages in a blanket of volcanic ash.

Although the first eruption on Sunday June 7, 2009 caused no damage, the authorities ordered 8,000 residents to evacuate the surrounding villages.

The second explosion on Monday was the 8th eruption this year to shake the volcano, which is located in the Colombian department of Nariño near the town of  Pasto, and close to the Ecuadorean border.

Currently the most active volcano in Colombia, the 4,276-meter-high volcano’s first historical eruption occurred on December 7, 1580. The volcano resumed activity in 1988 after 10 years of dormancy. It erupted in 1993, killing nine people, three tourists and six scientists who had descended into the volcano’s crater to conduct tests.

galeras from Pasto stan williams
Galeras from Pasto (1993?). Photo by Stan Williams. Image may be subject to copyright.

Eight of Colombia’s 15 volcanoes have erupted in the last 100 years, and three of them since 1990: Galeras, Nevado del Huila, and Nevado del Ruiz.

An explosive eruption ruptured the summit of Nevado del Ruiz on November 13, 1985, spewing about 20 million cubic meters of volcanic ash and rocks into the air. Forty-meter thick lahars traveling at velocities of up to 50 kilometers per hour destroyed the town of Armero 74 km away from the explosion crater, killing more than 23,000 people. [Source: USGS]

Galeras activity in 2009

  • 14 February 19:11 an eruption spewed ash SO2 and other and volcanic gases. (Red Alert, Level I). [Pasto was covered in ash, 8,000 people evacuated.]
  • 20 February 07:05 spewed ashes. (Red Alert,  Level I).
  • 12 March 19:30, and 13 March 15:55 explosions were recorded (Orange Alert, Level II ).
  • 13 March 15:55, eruption occurred spewing gas and hot ashes at 16:34 further emission was recorded. (Orange Alert, Level II).
  • 24 April 07:32, two explosions were recorded. (Orange Alert, Level II).
  • 29 April monitors recorded increase in seismic activity. (Orange Alert, Level II).
  • 11 May 11:58, tectonic venting. (Orange Alert, Level II).
  • 17 May 21:40, seismic activity recorded. (Orange Alert, Level II).

For other episodes see:

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