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Mon, 28 Feb 2005, 03:49

Abbreviated from a report sent by the Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruptions Response Team:

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Sat, 26 Feb 2005, 18:15
Lava flow entering the sea on La Réunion island on 26th Feb. 2005 (Photo: <LINK http:http://www.ipreunion.com/volcan.lasso?PK=1612> IMaz Press </LINK>)

New interesting developments take place on La Réunion island, where the eruption has entered e new phase:
While visual lava emission from the vents in the Plaine des Osmondes at about 1600 m a.s.l. more or less stopped on the 24th, a large river of lava, believed to originate from accumulation beneath the flow field emerged from there on the afternoon of the 25th, travelling about 5 km in less than 2 hours down the Grandes Pentes (the steep ocean-side slope inside the horse-shoe-like open caldera), cutting the national road and entering the ocean.
From Thursday 24th on, shallow earthquakes appeared seismicity beneath Dolomieu crater on the summit of the volcano, increasing to a swarm with several hundreds of quakes up to magnitude 3 on Saturday 26th. This might be an indicator of the formation of a new pit crater.
At the same time, a new vent opened on the North East rift zone above "Bois Blanc" within the "Trou de Sable" on the northern boarder of the enclos at 450 m altitude. A new lava flow progressed within the enclos and stopped about 100 m above the national road. 
The volcano observatory warnes that an eruption "hors enclos" (outside the caldera) now should be considered a possibility within the next days. The area is being kept under under close surveillance.

- abbreviated from a report by Thomas Staudacher, head of the volcano observatory

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