Gamalana volcano (Indonesia): eruption news & activity updates
Gamalana volcano (Ternate Island, Indonesia): new eruption, likely some fatalities
Saturday Dec 20, 2014 00:29 AM | AUTEUR : T
Ash emissions from Gamalana Friday morning (Image @WorldVision / twitter)
The volcano, one of the most active in the region, erupted unexpectedly last night (Thursday evening, 22:41 local time).
Glow from the new eruption Thursday night (@PedomanNEWS / twitter)
Unfortunately, it seems that the eruption claimed at least some victims: Several people (10-12 according to varying news reports) were on the volcano, a popular hiking destination, when the initial explosion occurred at night. At least two of them were reported missing, presumably killed, and several others wounded, mainly from injuries suffered when falling during their escape.
Explosions and ongoing ash emissions continued throughout Friday and produced ash plumes that drifted eastwards, caused ash fall at the Ternate airport which had to be shut down. More than 5 cm of ash covered the runway and some parked aircraft.
The Indonesian Volcanological Survey (VSI) raised the alert level of Gamalana to 3 (on a scale of 1-4). So far, no evacuation orders were given by authorities. The small island, only approx. 10 km in diameter, consists essentially of the volcano's cone above sea level and is very exposed to mud flows or pyroclastic flows that could occur during or as a result of explosive activity. Evacuations would likely need to involve dislocation to one of the neighboring islands in case of a major eruption.
It seem that the eruption was not preceded by anything unusual, only a weak tremor signal was recorded about half an hour before, which in itself is not very unusual on any active volcano and not enough to predict an eruption.
It is not clear what the nature of this eruption is and whether it involves fresh magma or only steam-driven explosions (phreatic activity), but the observed glow on the upper flank below the summit suggest that a lava flow was active from a vent below the summit crater.
Monday, Sep 17, 2012
Two separate explosions occurred at Gamalama volcano on Ternate Island yesterday at 13.22 and 14.15 local time. The eruption followed an increase in seismic activity and triggered PVMBG to raise the alert level to 3 (out of 4) "Siaga". According to the newspaper Liputan6 people have not heard the explosion, but only saw an ash plume rise. ... [details]
Thursday, Feb 02, 2012
CVGHM abaissé le niveau d'alerte pour Gamalama de 3 à 2 (sur une échelle de 1 à 4) le 24 janvier, basée sur des observations visuelles de plumes blanches s'élève aussi haut que 100 m au-dessus du cratère et une diminution de la sismicité depuis la dernière éruption le 23 décembre 2011. ... [details]
Sunday, Jan 01, 2012
At least 3 people were killed by mud flows. 1,000-2,600 more were evacuated from several villages on 27-28 December, when heavy rainfall turned fresh ash deposits into devastating mud flows. Most damage was in the villages of Tubo and Tofure and along the Togorara and Marikurubu rivers. [details]
Monday, Dec 12, 2011
Eruptions are continuing at Gamalana volcano, consisting of moderate to strong ash explosions, as observed by our correspondant on location. Volcanologist Mr Kristianto, head/coordinator of all observatory post in eastern Indonesia, reports 4 explosions on 4 December and numerous volcanic earthquakes. The daily status update reads: ... [details]
Monday, Dec 05, 2011
Mount Gamalama volcano in Indonesia's remote North Maluku province erupted at 23:00 local time on Sunday (1400 GMT), according to local news. The eruption produced small amounts of ash, causing local electrical blackouts and ash fall in the provincial capital city of Ternate. ... [details]