News & activity updates from Aoba (Ambae) volcano
Manaro Voui (Ambae) volcano (Vanuatu) - alert level raised, moderate eruption
A vent in or near the caldera lake Voui has been producing mild ash emissions over the past weeks, but these have now become stronger and for the first time lava glow also was observed, suggesting that the eruption is transitioning from phreatic (steam-driven) to magmatic (arrival of fresh magma).
According to local press articles, authorities in Vanuatu are preparing to evacuate up to 5000 people from the island's most exposed areas to safer locations.
"In the early hours, around 3-4am, we noticed that the activity started to increase, followed by another eruptive phase," Ms Esline Garaeviti, the manager of the Geohazards Department, was quoted on Radio New Zealand. "So the ash plume from Ambae is still there now. The ash fall is expected all around the island."
"The increased level of activity means increased area of risk," she said. "There's more risk exposed to people on the island, that's why. It's a moderate state of activity."
The current state of the eruption was only moderate with explosions at the crater generating small ash plumes, but it could become larger and directly threaten people living in areas closest to the volcano, in particular those north and south of the summit and areas near or in valleys draining from the caldera lake. Safer locations would include eastern and western parts of Ambae.
The last significant activity of Ambae was in 2005, when a similar evacuation was done and forced people to leave their villages for 3 months.
Links / Sources:
- Vanuatu prepares to evacuate 5000 as Ambae volcano erupts (Radio New Zealand)
Eruptive activity at Manaro volcano continues, but has decreased significantly over the past week. Scientists are monitoring the eruption, hoping that it will soon be possible to lower the alert level and permit some 3000 residents that had been evacuated to return to their homes.[more]