Volcano news: Soputan
Soputan volcano (N-Sulawesi), activity update: ash eruptions
CVGHM reported that white and gray plumes from Soputan on 25, 26, 30 and 31 October rose to altitudes of 1.8-3.3 km. A lava flow traveled between 500-600 m down the W flank on 25 October. The Alert Level remained at 3 and villagers and tourists are advised not to go within a 6 km radius of the summit.
According to the Volcanological Survey of Indonesia, seismic signals from rockfalls increased at Soputan during 11-13 December. On 14 December, ash clouds rose to an altitude of 2 km (6,600 ft) a.s.l. and ash fell within a 15 km radius of the peak. The emissions were accompanied by thunderous noises that were heard 8 km from the peak. On 15 December the Alert Level was raised from 2 to 3 (on a scale of 1-4) due to this increase in activity.
As our correspondant Donald Tapehe from Manado reports, Soputan is getting restless: "Also Mt. Soputan has been showing activity. The local government has determined to raise alert status for all people who live near Mt. Soputan. One week ago my friend (a climber) told me that he saw yellow/brown smoke on the peak of Mt. Soputan from the caldera. Now, it's difficult to take breathe at the campsite, because of the poisonous gasses which blow up from the old crater."[more]
Soputan volcano had a small phreatic eruption on 26 December around 12h30 local time, probably caused by heavy rainfall onto the hot lava dome. On 27 December at 0400, a Strombolian eruption began that lasted ~50 minutes. Incandescent volcanic material was ejected ~35 m, and avalanches of volcanic material traveled as far as 750 m E. Around 06h40 the avalanches became larger, as pyroclastic avalanches occurred from the edge of the lava. The avalanches extended 200 m E, and booming noises were heard as far as 5 km from the summit. The Darwin VAAC reported that an ash plume reached a height of ~5.8 km (~19,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE.... [more]
The small Soputan stratovolcano on the southern rim of the Quaternary Tondano caldera on the northern arm of Sulawesi Island is one of Sulawesi's most active volcanoes. The youthful, largely unvegetated volcano rises to 1784 m and is located SW of Sempu volcano. It was constructed at the southern end of a SSW-NNE trending line of vents. During historical time the locus of eruptions has included both the summit crater and Aeseput, a prominent NE-flank vent that formed in 1906 and was the source of intermittent major lava flows until 1924.
Source: GVP, Smithsonian Institution