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Indonesia: new eruption at Lokon 14 July 2011

Posted by admin in activity reports, eruptions, Indonesia, Lokon-Empung.
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Reports from Indonesia indicate a significant increase in the intensity of the ongoing eruptive activity at Mount Lokon in eastern Sulawesi. Under the superb headline ‘Blarrr!! Gunung Lokon Meletus Kuat, Api Keluar dari Kawah’ (‘Blarrr!! Strong eruption at Mount Lokon, fire from crater’) the local paper Tribun Manado quotes local residents reporting powerful earth tremors, ‘a very loud roar’ and ‘huge fire’ from the Lokon. Another Indonesian-language report describes the eruption as producing ‘red fire’, ‘lava and billowing smoke’ and ‘powerful tremors’; according to an eye-witness, the eruption was visible at 10 km distance from the volcano. An AFP report, quoting an Indonesian government volcanologist, says that there was a large eruption at around 22:31 local time (15:31 GMT) on Thursday in which ash and rocks were thrown 1,500 metres into the air, and vegetation within 500 metres of the crater was set on fire.

An Associated Press report adds a few more details, reporting that there were three eruptions in all: the first eruption was at 22:46 local time on Thursday night and was followed by a second just after a midnight and a third at around 01:10 on Friday morning. Soldiers and police were said to be helping about 500 people evacuate the slopes of the volcano. Some pictures of the latest activity can be found at NowPublic.

No new reports on this activity have so far appeared on the Volcanological Survey of Indonesia web site.

(Thanks to VB reader Raj in Manado for reports and translations.)

News
Blarrr!! Gunung Lokon meletus kuat, api keluar dari kawahTribun Manado, 14 July 2011
Indonesian volcano erupts after red alert warning – AFP, 14 July 2011
Volcano erupts in central Indonesia – Associated Press, 14 July 2011
Volcano erupts in central Indonesia, triggering evacuationWashington Post, 14 July 2011
Gunung Lokon kembali meletus – detikNews, 15 July 2011

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Lokon-Empung – summary information for Lokon-Empung (0606-10=)
Volcanological Survey of Indonesia – information and status reports in Indonesian

The Volcanism Blog

Lokon eruption: an update 13 July 2011

Posted by admin in activity reports, eruptions, Indonesia, Lokon-Empung.
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I’m grateful to reader Raj in Manado, capital of Indonesia’s North Sulawesi province, for sending over some translations of coverage of the Lokon eruption in the Indonesian press. From what he says, it seems that yesterday’s eruption was more a continuation of the earlier activity than a new large-scale eruption, although Tempo Interactive reported yesterday that there had been ‘a significant rise in volcanic activity since Saturday, July 9′. Fajar Online describes the event as a ‘re-eruption’ that ‘threw up ash that was expected to reach heights of a few hundred metres’, which sounds similar to the type of activity reported on Saturday. There was an increase in seismicity before the eruption and a falling-off afterwards. A local civil protection official has warned local residents of the danger of pyroclastic flows. Tribunnews.com has a photograph of Lokon-Empung with emissions visible from the saddle between the two peaks, and reports that Lokon (along with Sulawesi’s other recently active volcano, Soputan) is quiet today, although volcanologist Surono continues to warn of the danger of pyroclastic flows. Local paper Tribun Manado has extensive coverage and pictures, and reports that about 7,000 people were told yesterday that they had to evacuate.

My correspondent also says that evacuated residents are complaining about poor facilities at their shelters, and that generally speaking local residents are not bothered about the volcano’s activity and have tended to be reluctant to evacuate, despite the authorities’ warnings of the danger and reassurances that their properties will be guarded in their absence.

The Volcanological Survey of Indonesia is maintaining Lokon’s alert status at the highest level. The excellent Earthquake-Report.com site has detailed coverage of the Lokon activity, frequently updated as news comes in.

News
North Sulawesi’s Mt. Lokon eruptsTempo Interactive, 12 July 2011
Lokon awas, 7 ribu warga tomohon akan dievakuasi besokTribun Manado, 12 July 2011
Gunung Lokon meletus, 900 warga dievakuasi – Fajar Online, 13 July 2011
Aktivitas vulkanik Gunung Soputan dan Lokon sudah menurun – Tribunnews.com, 13 July 2011

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Lokon-Empung – summary information for Lokon-Empung (0606-10=)
Volcanological Survey of Indonesia – information and status reports in Indonesian

The Volcanism Blog

Indonesia: Mt Lokon erupts 12 July 2011

Posted by admin in activity reports, eruptions, Indonesia, Lokon-Empung.
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Following some days of low-level eruptive activity the alert level for Mount Lokon volcano (part of the twin volcano Lokon-Empung) on Sulawesi island in Indonesia was raised to the highest level yesterday, an exclusion zone was set up and evacuation orders were imposed (see the report on all these measures at Eruptions). Today Lokon confirmed that all these things were done with good reason by producing a full-scale eruption and forcing the evacuation of 1000 people. There is not much further information about the character and size of this eruption at the moment, but it is clearly a significant event that is causing concern in Indonesia — Lokon is a mere 20 km from North Sulawesi’s capital city, Manado.

News
Volcano alert in Indonesia – IOL News, 11 July 2011
Indonesia raises alert level at volcano near major cityJakarta Globe, 11 July 2011
Evacuations for Indonesia volcano alertSydney Morning Herald, 11 July 2011
North Sulawesi’s Mt. Lokon erupts – Tempo Interaktif, 12 July 2011
Erupting Indonesia volcano forces 1,000 to flee – CBS News, 12 July 2011

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Lokon-Empung – summary information for Lokon-Empung (0606-10=)
Volcanological Survey of Indonesia – information and status reports in Indonesian

The Volcanism Blog

Smithsonian/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report 29 June – 5 July 2011 7 July 2011

Posted by admin in activity reports, Africa, Batu Tara, Chile, Dukono, Eritrea, eruptions, Guatemala, Hawaii, Indonesia, Japan, Kamchatka, Karymsky, Kilauea, Kirishima, Kizimen, Kliuchevskoi, Lokon-Empung, Nabro, Philippines, Puyehue, Sakura-jima, Santa María, Shiveluch, Soputan, Taal, United States, Weekly Volcanic Activity Reports.
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Here is the latest Smithsonian Institution and United States Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report which covers the week 29 June – 5 July 2011, and is compiled by Sally Kuhn Sennert. Some of the highlights:

  • Kliuchevskoi: eruption produces a plume to 7 km altitude
  • Nabro: lava flows remain hot, brown ash plume rising from vent
  • Puyehue-Cordón Caulle: eruption continues, with active lava flows, and low white/grey plumes
  • Soputan: an apparent strombolian eruption produced 6 km plume and ashfall

SI/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report 22-28 June 2011

Click on the map for a larger version (1211 x 784 pixels).

The Smithsonian Institution/United States Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report for 29 June – 5 July 2011 is now available on the Global Volcanism Program website. The following is a summary and not a substitute for the full report.

New activity/unrest: Kirishima (Japan), Kliuchevskoi (Russia), Lokon-Empung (Indonesia), Nabro (Eritrea), Puyehue-Cordón Caulle (Chile), Soputan (Indonesia).

Ongoing activity: Batu Tara (Indonesia), Dukono (Indonesia), Karymsky (Russia), Kilauea (Hawaii, USA), Kizimen (Russia), Sakura-jima (Indonesia), Santa María (Guatemala), Shiveluch (Russia), Taal (Philippines).

Note: ‘a.s.l.’ = ‘above sea level’.

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Smithsonian/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report 22-28 June 2011 4 July 2011

Posted by admin in activity reports, Africa, Ambrym, Batu Tara, Chile, Eritrea, eruptions, Fuego, Guatemala, Hawaii, Indonesia, Kamchatka, Karymsky, Kilauea, Kirishima, Kizimen, Nabro, Pacific, Planchón-Peteroa, Russia, Sakura-jima, Shiveluch, United States, Vanuatu, Weekly Volcanic Activity Reports.
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Here’s the Smithsonian Institution and United States Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report for the week 22-28 June 2011, compiled by Sally Kuhn Sennert. Some of the highlights:

  • Ambrym: degassing, occasional explosions, light ashfall
  • Nabro: eruption continues, with plumes of water vapour and sulphur dioxide, lava flows and ashfall
  • Puyehue-Cordón Caulle: eruption continues, with active lava flow, and ash clouds affecting air traffic
  • Planchón-Peteroa: ash and gas-and-steam plumes detected

SI/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report 22-28 June 2011

Click on the map for a larger version (1211 x 784 pixels).

The Smithsonian Institution/United States Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report for 22-28 June 2011 is now available on the Global Volcanism Program website. The following is a summary and not a substitute for the full report.

New activity/unrest: Ambrym (Vanuatu), Kirishima (Japan), Nabro (Eritrea), Puyehue-Cordón Caulle (Chile).

Ongoing activity: Batu Tara (Indonesia), Fuego (Guatemala), Karymsky (Russia), Kilauea (Hawaii, USA), Kizimen (Russia), Planchón-Peteroa (Chile), Sakura-jima (Japan), Shiveluch (Russia).

Note: ‘a.s.l.’ = ‘above sea level’.

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Puyehue-Cordón Caulle corked: a small-scale case-study of media sensationalism 24 June 2011

Posted by admin in Chile, eruptions, Puyehue.
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Even by the standards of sensationalized volcano stories in the mainstream media the headline in the Sydney Morning Herald and some other news sources today is pretty silly: ‘Red alert as “cork” plugs volcano’. This headline does what such headlines so often do: create a false sense of an urgent, dangerous situation by misrepresenting the facts. That little word ‘as’ is very important in the creation of this effect. There is indeed a red alert at Puyehue-Cordón Caulle, there has been since the eruption began: but by putting the word ‘as’ after the words ‘red alert’ an entirely baseless impression is created that the red alert is the result of whatever situation is described after the ‘as’. By the third word of the headline an expectation of potential disaster is established in the reader’s mind, and s/he is thus pre-disposed to react with alarm and concern to the news that a ‘cork’ is plugging the volcano. The word ‘cork’ itself confirms the impression — everyone knows what corks do, they contain pressure and when they are released an explosion results. This is made explicit in the original AFP story: ‘Geologists said a “cork” of lava, which emerged on Tuesday and was blocking even more lava from spewing forth, had the potential to create a huge build-up in pressure’. The headline rests neatly on that word ‘cork’ in the middle: the words preceding it prepare the reader for danger, the words after it confirm the nature of that danger, and another volcano scare story is set merrily upon its way.

By the time the AFP story has reached Earthweek it has become enveloped in a general air of breathless anxiety, as a standard bulletin from SERNAGEOMIN on the activity of the volcano becomes ‘an urgent warning’ about building pressure and powerful blasts: ‘geologists issued an urgent warning late Wednesday, saying a “cork” of lava had begun to block the volcano’s crater, building up pressure that could lead to another powerful blast’. The bulletins on Puyehue-Cordón Caulle, by the way, are normally released by SERNAGEOMIN around 15:30-16:00 local time, but of course it’s much more exciting to talk of ‘an urgent warning’ issued ‘late Wednesday’ than of ‘a standard bulletin’ issued ‘in the middle of the afternoon, as usual’.

The facts upon which the story is based in no way justify the alarmism of the Australian headlines, still less the utter rubbish from Earthweek. The ‘red alert’, as stated above, was in place anyway, and has not been changed as a result of the current situation. The ‘cork’ plugging the volcano is no big deal. Here’s what SERNAGEOMIN actually reports in its most recent bulletin for Puyehue-Cordón Caulle: ‘the possibility of an explosive event still remains because of possible obstruction of the conduit by the lava erupted and/or changes in the dynamics of the eruption, although there is little likelihood that it will reach the magnitude of the initial eruptive phase’. That is standard wording for a standard situation: the volcano has begun erupting lava, cooled lava may block the conduit creating the circumstances for explosive activity caused by continuing pressure within the volcanic system. This is not a disaster movie scenario, just one that needs careful watching (which is what SERNAGEOMIN is doing).

There is a particularly Australian context to the Sydney Morning Herald‘s daft headline. The flight disruptions caused by ash from Puyehue-Cordón Caulle have given Australia a lot of problems, and it’s understandable that Australian newspapers and their readers are sensitive about volcanic activity — particularly the threat of more explosive activity and more ash. But that’s all the more reason not to over-react, to get the facts right, and not resort to lazy sensationalism.

News
Red alert as ‘cork’ plugs volcanoSydney Morning Herald, 24 June 2011
Red alert as ‘cork’ plugs volcanoThe Age, 24 June 2011
Experts warn Chile volcano could explode again – AFP, 24 June 2011
Chile volcano could explode againHerald Sun, 24 June 2011
Aviation halted for second week by Chile eruption – Earthweek, 24 June 2011

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcanic complex – summary information for the PCCVC (1507-15=)
Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería – website of Chile’s SERNAGEOMIN
OVDAS-SERNAGEOMIN bulletins for Puyehue-Cordón Caulle – PDF files are available from this page of the OVDAS website

The Volcanism Blog

Nabro eruption: new bulletin from the Eritrean Government 24 June 2011

Posted by admin in activity reports, Africa, Eritrea, eruptions, Nabro.
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The Eritrean Government has issued a new bulletin about the volcanic eruption at Nabro and its aftermath: ‘Government taking close care of nationals affected by earthquake and volcanic eruption’. Text as follows:

Asmara, 22 June 2011 – The Eritrean government is extending the necessary care and assistance through relocating to safe place for nationals displaced due to earthquake and volcanic eruption that occurred in southern and southwestern parts of Southern Red Sea region on the 12th and 14th of June.

The regional Administration disclosed that the Government is working diligently in moving the nationals to safe place in view of the fact that new landscape is being formed due to the eruption resulting in the  melting of rock, in addition to possible health problem due to emission of smoke and dust. The situation is now being stable, it added.

The nationals relocated to safe place said that although there previously existed average earthquakes in the area, this year’s incident was quite strange that evolved into volcanic eruption and the melting of rocks. In this respect, they expressed appreciation to the emergency assistance being provided by the people and that the Government in rescuing their lives and cattle from the natural disaster.

Reports indicated that as a result of the disaster, flow of lava with width up to 1,000 meters and height of 15 meters surfaced in Seriru, southern Denkalia, that destroyed vegetation on about 20 kilometers. As a result of the molting of rocks and the covering up of streams, new landscape is being witnessed.

It is to be recalled that the first volcanic eruption that occurred around Seriru in the extreme south of Southern Red Sea region on June 12 caused 5.7 rector scale earth tremor. The eruption also gave rise to dust that covered hundreds of kilometers and that the tremor was heard in the greater portion of the region, according to reports.

This is the fourth official statement the Eritrean Government has issued about the Nabro eruption. The previous statements were ‘Volcanic eruption witnessed in the tip of Southern Red Sea Region’ (13 June 2011), ‘Inhabitants of Afambo, Nebro and Sirero moved to safer locations’ (16 June 2011) and ‘Volcanic eruption in Southern Red Sea Region creates new landmass’ (21 June 2011).

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Nabro – summary information for Nabro (0201-101)

The Volcanism Blog

Nabro eruption: Eritrean opposition appeals for international assistance 23 June 2011

Posted by admin in Africa, Eritrea, eruptions, Nabro.
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Following the Eritrean Government’s statement that seven people were killed in the eruption of Nabro volcano in the south of the country (after initial official claims that there were no fatalities), groups opposed to the current regime in Eritrea have been calling for international assistance for those affected by the eruption. The Sudan Tribune reports today that the Red Sea Afar Democratic Organization (RSADO), an exiled opposition movement based in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, has accused the Eritrean Government of concealing the scale of the disaster, failing to give the affected population warning and assistance, and preventing international aid from entering the country. According to an RSADO spokesman quoted in the report, the Eritrean Government had ‘knowledge in advance’ that the eruption would occur ‘and evacuated hundreds of its soldiers from the area one day ahead of the eruption however [they did not give] advanced notice to the inhabitants nor did [the government] evacuate them to safety’.

The report notes that ‘Independent news about the eruption is hard to come by as Eritrea does not allow independent local journalists or foreign correspondents into the the Red Sea nation’ and that ‘The UN or other NGOs are reportedly not allowed to leave the capital, for independent assessments of the situation of the people’ in Eritrea.

The overall humanitarian situation in the region of Eritrea around Nabro remains unknown, but there are reports of the local population on the Ethiopian side of the border being severely affected by the eruption.

News
Eritrea volcano ash hits Ethiopia villagers – BBC News, 20 June 2011
Eritrean opposition asks for international support as volcano kills sevenSudan Tribune, 23 June 2011

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Nabro – summary information for Nabro (0201-101)

The Volcanism Blog

Smithsonian/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report 15-21 June 2011 23 June 2011

Posted by admin in activity reports, Africa, Batu Tara, Chile, Costa Rica, Egon, Eritrea, eruptions, Etna, Hawaii, Indonesia, Italy, Kamchatka, Karymsky, Kilauea, Nabro, Paluweh, Russia, Shiveluch, Turrialba, United States, Weekly Volcanic Activity Reports.
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The Smithsonian Institution and United States Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, compiled by Sally Kuhn Sennert, has been issued for the week 15-21 June 2011. Some of the highlights:

  • Etna: renewed ash emissions from Bocca Nuova
  • Nabro: eruption continues, with plumes of water vapour and sulphur dioxide
  • Puyehue-Cordón Caulle: a viscous lava flow observed as eruptive activity continues
  • Turrialba: a new crater lake observed at the summit

SI/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report 15-21 June 2011

Click on the map for a larger version (1211 x 784 pixels).

The Smithsonian Institution/United States Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report for 15-21 June 2011 is now available on the Global Volcanism Program website. The following is a summary and not a substitute for the full report.

New activity/unrest: Etna (Italy), Nabro (Eritrea), Puyehue-Cordón Caulle (Chile), Turrialba (Costa Rica).

Ongoing activity: Batu Tara (Indonesia), Egon (Indonesia), Karymsky (Russia), Kilauea (Hawaii, USA), Paluweh (Indonesia), Shiveluch (Russia).

Note: ‘a.s.l.’ = ‘above sea level’.

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Images of the Nabro eruption (updated) 22 June 2011

Posted by admin in Africa, Eritrea, eruptions, Nabro, NASA Earth Observatory.
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Just a quick post to draw your attention to some images of the Nabro eruption in Eritrea.

Nabro eruption 01

Nabro eruption 02

Many thanks to Martin Rey, who left a comment at an earlier post giving a link to some screen captures he obtained from local TV station Eri.TV of the Nabro eruption. The pictures seem to show the plume from ground level, lava flows, vegetation on fire, and relief/evacuation operations. Two are reproduced above: the whole set of 23 can be found here: http://picasaweb.google.com/triart3d/NABRO

UPDATE. And here’s the video itself at earthquake-report.com’s cumulative and now immensely long posting on the Nabro eruption, and at YouTube. Chris Rowan talks about the seismic aspect of the eruption at Highly Allocthonous in a very illuminating post on Seismo-volcanism in Eritrea. And for analysis and discussion of what Nabro is up to (and might get up to in the future), check out Erik’s comprehensive and enlightening new post at Eruptions: Speculating on the 2011 Nabro eruption in Eritrea.

Nabro eruption 19 June 2011 (NASA/Terra)

And there’s a fascinating picture of a lava flow from Nabro at the NASA Earth Observatory (above), captured by ASTER on the Terra satellite: Eruption at Nabro volcano.

More on Nabro later, time permitting.

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Nabro – summary information for Nabro (0201-101)

The Volcanism Blog

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