Jebel al-Tair volcano eruptions

stratovolcano 244 m/ 801 ft
Red Sea (Yemen), 15.55°N / 41.83°E
Eruption list: 2007-08, 1883, 1863, 1833 ± 1 year, 1750 ± 50 years


2007 eruption & fatalities

Large floating ash and pumice rafts resulted from the 30 September 2007 eruption of Jebel at Tair. One of these rafts can be seen in this photo with the USS Bainbridge about 20 km from the island on 2 October 2007. Photo by MCpl Kevin Paul, Canadian Forces Combat Camera.
Large floating ash and pumice rafts resulted from the 30 September 2007 eruption of Jebel at Tair. One of these rafts can be seen in this photo with the USS Bainbridge about 20 km from the island on 2 October 2007. Photo by MCpl Kevin Paul, Canadian Forces Combat Camera.
A new eruption began at Jebel al Tair volcano on 30 September 2007, the first documented in more than 120 years, which is why it took many people by surprise. The eruption destroyed a military base on the island and killed up to 8 soldiers.
A survivor told that the eruption "started with shocks like quakes, and then we heard huge blasts with lava and rocks spewing out and dropping on us." He also said he and 6 fellow soldiers decided to flee the island by trying to swim through "boiling water" surrounding the island.
The eruption came not from the summit, but from a fissure that had opened on the NE flank and started to produce violent lava fountains from multiple vents and lava flows that quickly reached the sea. The initial phase also produced ash and pumice that was found floating 10 km from the island.
The exact number of fatalities could could not be established, but ranges between at least 4 to at least 8, a more likely figure. Immediately after the beginning of the eruption, the Yemeni Coast Guard said that 21 of the 29 soldiers on the island had been rescued with eight missing.
The lava flow and weak lava fountains were still weakly active on 3 November when a passing ship saw the fountains on the NW side of the island. Hot spots continued to be visible on satellite images until June 2008, but also showed a sharp decrease starting in late December until February 2008.
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Source: GVP / Monthly reports

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