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Another large eruption at Lokon (updated) 17 July 2011

Posted by admin in activity reports, eruptions, Indonesia, Lokon-Empung.
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Another large eruption of Mount Lokon in Sulawesi this morning (Sunday 17 July), according to news reports: a 3.5 km altitude ash plume, and the first confirmed fatality of the current eruptive episode, a woman suffering a heart attack as she fled the eruption [CORRECTION: apparently this unfortunate event occurred during last week's eruptions]. Indonesian volcanologist Surono describes today’s eruption as the largest yet. As the eruption started, local residents who had been returning to their homes and crops following earlier evacuations cleared out in a hurry once again.

Darwin VAAC issued a volcanic ash advisory at 07:37 GMT reporting no volcanic ash emissions visible on satellite imagery, but noting media reports of ash between 3 km and 5 km altitude, moving north, and confirming that ‘situation will be closely monitored’. According to the New Zealand Herald flights from Manado airport have not yet been affected by the eruption, but the airport has been warned to be on alert for possible ash at altitude. The Jakarta Post reported earlier today that ‘at least 4,889 people’ had been evacuated following the latest eruption. The local paper Tribun Manado reports that civil protection authorities have been touring villages in the area and warning their residents to evacuate, and that the security of the exclusion zone around the volcano has been tightened following today’s eruption, with even local residents being denied access. Tribun Manado also has extensive photo galleries of the eruption: gallery 1- gallery 2gallery 3gallery 4gallery 5 (links from Earthquake-Report.com).

Some distinctly oddball stories on the eruption have also been appearing in Tribun Manado: one on traditional beliefs that certain areas will be protected by supernatural agencies from the volcano’s activity, and another on an alleged appearance of Jesus’s face in the volcano’s ash cloud.

Regularly updated coverage of the Lokon eruption can be found at Earthquake-Report.com. Thanks to Raj in Manado for reports and translations, and thanks also to reader Raving who has posted a video of the eruption in the comments below.

News
Indonesia volcano spews ash in biggest eruption – Associated Press, 17 July 2011
Indonesians flee new volcano eruption on Sulawesi – BBC News, 17 July 2011
4,889 evacuated after Mt. Lokon eruptionsJakarta Post, 17 July 2011
Indonesia’s Mount Lokon volcano eruptsDaily Telegraph, 17 July 2011
Sketsa mirip wajah Yesus muncul saat letusan lokonTribun Manado, 17 July 2011
‘Katanya Desa Warembungan dilindungi Tatawiran dan opo Lokon’Tribun Manado, 17 July 2011
SAR imbau warga Desa Tinoor 1 untuk berhati-hatiTribun Manado, 17 July 2011
Kapolres perintahkan tutup akses ke pos pemantauan LokonTribun Manado, 18 July 2011
Flight alert after new Lokon eruptionNew Zealand Herald, 18 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

Mount Lokon eruption continues 15 July 2011

Posted by admin in activity reports, eruptions, Indonesia, Lokon-Empung.
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Mount Lokon erupting 14 July 2011 (image courtesy Tribun Manado)
Mount Lokon volcano, North Sulawesi, erupting on 14 July 2011 (image courtesy Tribun Manado, via Earthquake-Report.com).

The eruption of Sulawesi’s Mount Lokon that began yesterday (after days of lower-level eruptive activity) continues, with spectacular explosive activity and the eruption of ash and lava. Ash has darkened the sky over the city of Manado. Darwin VAAC has issued a Volcanic Ash Advisory for the eruption which notes that no ash cloud is yet detectable on satellite imagery, but that volcanic ash from the eruption has reached 1,500 metres above the crater. The Indonesian aviation authorities are warning flights in the area of the presence of volcanic ash at low altitudes, but Manado airport is operating normally and no diversions or cancellations have yet been ordered. No casualties have been reported from this eruption, and evacuations had already taken place around the volcano earlier this week; the evacuations have now been expanded to encompass over 4,000 people.

Mount Lokon is the higher peak of the very active twin volcanoes Lokon and Empung. The latter peak last erupted from its summit crater some time around 1775 (give or take 25 years or so), but all 24 subsequent eruptions listed by the Global Volcanism Program (and the current activity) have originated from Tompaluan Crater, situated in the saddle between the two peaks. Most of these eruptions were VEI 1 or 2, although eruptions in July 1951 to March 1953, May 1991 to January 1992 and September 2003 were VEI 3.

More up-to-date coverage of this eruption is available at Earthquake-Report.com.

News
Peringatan kemenhub: Lokon meletus, maskapai miminta waspadaTribun Manado, 15 July 2011
Thousands evacuated as Sulawesi volcano eruptsJakarta Globe, 15 July 2011
Indonesians flee volcano eruption on Sulawesi – BBC News, 15 July 2011
Indonesia’s Mount Lokon erupts, thousands take refuge – Reuters India, 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

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’.

(more…)

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