Karangetang volcano (Api Siau Island, northern Indonesia): hot avalanches start to form
Sun, 26 Feb 2023, 16:04 16:04 PM | BY: T
The volcano started to generate pyroclastic flows on its southeastern side. These are turbulent avalanches of hot lava material mixed with hot gas and air. The likely cause for their formation was that some of the fresh lava emplaced on the steep slope beneath the southern summit crater became unstable and collapsed.
Small pyroclastic flow on Karangetang volcano yesterday (image: PVMBG)
This process is rather typical for Karangetang's eruptions and extremely dangerous. So far, there were at least two such avalanches reported during yesterday, and they have been relatively small reaching lengths of approx. 1 km only. As the eruption continues, they could become larger and reach inhabited areas in their paths that should now be evacuated as a precaution.
Our expedition leader Andi is on location and furthermore reported that he felt numerous earthquakes, and other contact in the region also have been noticing increases seismic activity around the Molucca and Celebes Sea area. Since the large magnitude 6.8 quake Friday morning (local time) deep under the Molucca Sea, many smaller ones have rattled the area, including several magnitude 4 events every day.
There are at least 3 erupting volcanoes right now here: Karangetang, Ibu and Dukono, both on neighboring Halmahera island to the east. Awu volcano to the south on Sulawesi is on yellow alert and has been showing signs that magma might be accumulating underneath its surface. It cannot be rules out that the recent seismic activity has increased the activity of nearby volcanoes.
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