Eruption of Manam volcano on 27 January
A large explosive eruption occured at Manam volcano in Papua New Guinea, as Andrew Tupper, a Senior Meteorologist from the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre, reports via the Volcano Listserv:
"There was a large volcanic eruption at Manam, Papua New Guinea around 14UTC on 27/1/05 (last week), which has received little media attention. One person died (thousands of people evacuated months ago), a number of people were injured, and according to the reports that we have received from Rabaul Volcano Observatory, the volcanic observatory on the island destroyed, along with its HF radio, seismograph, and a satellite phone that an airline had donated a few weeks ago to help with eruption warnings. According to the PNG National, some people had returned on that day from the displacement camps on the PNG mainland to gather food from their gardens, only to have their boat destroyed by rocks from the eruption.
The Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre has put some satellite images of the eruption cloud at this page.
We put a maximum height of 21 km on the eruption cloud in real time, but inpost-analysis, 21-24 km may be a better estimate. The cloud was extremely difficult to track as it was ice-rich and mixed with monsoonal storms, but dispersion models and our satellite analysis suggest that amid-tropospheric portion spread quite quickly westwards over Irian Jaya, while higher cloud remained near the eruption site for some time."