Archived Volcano News - John Seach
October 2001

Reports written by John Seach

Reports are posted in Eastern Australian Time (UT +10 hr).
Archived Volcano News

Soufriere Hills Volcano (Montserrat)
16.72°N, 62.18°W, summit elevation 915 m, stratovolcano.
Activity intensified on 1 November. The seismograph network recorded 284 rockfall signals, 8 long period events, 46 hybrid events and 2 volcanotectonic earthquakes. The active lava dome has grown substantially over recent days.  The dome has switched its growth direction from the northeast and is now growing on the east side, where a massive, near-vertical headwall has developed. Several small pyroclastic flows were generated by material avalanching off the eastern flank of the dome during the reporting period.
More on Soufriere Hills Volcano...

Papua New Guinea Earthquake (Magnitude 7.0)
Major earthquake on October 31, 2001.
The following is a release by the United States Geological Survey, National Earthquake Information Center: A major earthquake occurred IN THE NEW BRITAIN REGION, PAPUA NEW GUINEA, about 30 miles (50 km) northeast of Kandrian, New Britain, or 265 miles (425 km) north- northeast of Port Moresby, New Guinea at 2:10 AM MST today, Oct 31, 2001 (7:10 PM local time in Papua New Guinea). A PRELIMINARY MAGNITUDE OF 7.0 WAS COMPUTED FOR THIS EARTHQUAKE. The magnitude and location may be revised when additional data and further analysis results are available.
Volcanoes of Papua New Guinea...

Mud Volcano Erupts in Azerbaijan
October 2001
A mud volcano erupted on a hillside 15 kilometres (nine miles) outside the Azerbaijani capital Baku on Thursday morning 25th October.
Witnisses said the flame was unbelievably big, about three hundred metres high. It was surrounded by dense, black smoke, and lots of mud was being thrown into the air. The biggest flames burned for about five minutes.
Mud volcanoes are the little-known relatives of the more common magmatic variety. They erupt occasionally with spectacular results, but are generally not considered to be dangerous. 
Mud volcanoes are one of the visible signs of the presence of oil and gas reserves under the land and sea in the Caspian region. Gas seeps are a related phenomenon. 
These occur when a pocket of gas under the ground finds a passage to the surface. Azerbaijan and the Caspian Sea are home to nearly four hundred mud volcanoes - more than half the total throughout the world.
More on mud volcanoes...

Kilauea Volcano (Hawaii)
19.425 N, 155.292 W, summit elevation 1222 m, Shield volcano.
October 27, 2001
For the first time, lava is now visible along the Kamoamoa flow above Pulama pali when viewed from the end of the Chain of Craters Road. Lava continues to flow into the sea at the Kamoamoa entry.
More on Kilauea volcano...

Popocatépetl Volcano (México)
19.023 N, 98.622 W, summit elevation 5 426 m, stratovolcanoes.
October 27, 2001.
In the last 24 hours, Popocatepetl volcano continued with steady level, similar to the ones of previous days. There were 16 small and moderate exhalations, accompanied by steam and gas, and some times with small amounts of ash. Also a volcano-tectonic event of low amplitude was recorded. 
The other monitored parameters remain without important changes. 
At this moment we can not see the volcano due to clouds. 
An aerial fotograph taken on the 20th of September, shows that the dome continues in the interior of the crater. This condition indicates the possibility of explosions in the next hours or days.
More on Popocatépetl Volcano..

Kirishima Volcano, Kyushu, Japan
Workers poisoned by volcanic gases.
Workers surveying for a geothermal heat source are felled by hydrogen sulfide gas on 25th October 2001.
Police said the seven workers probably inhaled hydrogen sulfide, a dangerous volcanic gas.
More than 20 workers from private companies were surveying the area, looking for geothermal heat sources stable enough to support a new geothermal power generating plant.
Seven men were treated at two nearby hospitals, and two were almost unconscious, but none of the injuries were life-threatening, police said. One of the affected workers was able to drive to a hospital on his own. (Asahi Shimbun)
More on Kirishima volcano

South Sister Volcano, Oregon, USA
Continued inflation of volcano.
In September a European satellite circling about 500 miles above Earth took photos that included precise measurements of the surface topography. Comparing it with earlier images, researchers found that the area centered three miles west of South Sister had continued bulging upward at more than an inch a year. That brings its total swelling to about 5 inches in five years.
Water sampling has shown conclusively that magma is present under the volcano. Also a small amount of carbon dioxide also has been detected in the atmosphere above the region, which is consistent with the idea that magma is responsible for the uplift. 
If it continues, it could eventually culminate in an eruption. This may be in 5, 10 or 20 years. Nobody can tell if and when an eruption will occur. However this is the most significant volcanic event in the Cascades Range since the eruption of Mt St Helens in 1980.
More on South Sister volcano

October 15-21 2001
Talang Volcano, Sumatra, Indonesia
Volcanological survey of Indonesia reports seismograph recorded an increasing of volcanic earthquake. Detailed seismicity within the report are: 15 events of deep volcanic (VA), 1 event of shallow volvanic (VB) and  1 event of tectonic earthquake. Talang volcano is in level 2 alert.
More on Talang volcano

October 15-21, 2001
Kerinci Volcano, Sumatra, Indonesia
Volcanological survey of Indonesia reports Seismicity on Kerinci volcano was dominated with small explosion earthquake, usually continuous, and volcanic earthquake increased than previously. Observation to the volcano resulted that volcano still ejected white thick plume with the maximum highness of 700 m. Seismicity record during this week are: 1 event of deep volcanic (VA), 1 events of shallow volcanic (VB), 7 events of tectonic and continuous of small explosion earthquake. Kerinci volcano is in level 2 alert.
More on Kerinci volcano

Tourist Killed in Hawaii
A 48-year-old woman fell to her death Saturday (20th October) at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the island of Hawaii. Park rangers found the woman dead on a rocky outcropping about 200 feet below the edge of the crater at the summit of Kilauea Volcano. The eruption site is along the volcano's east rift zone, well away from the summit region where the accident happened. (AP)
This accident reinforces that volcanic areas contain many dangers apart from eruptions.
More on Kilauea volcano.

Tourist Injured on Stromboli Volcano
A German tourist was in a coma Sunday (21 October) in a Sicilian hospital, a day after being struck in the head by a lava bomb ejected from the volcano. This accident highlights the care which needs to be taken when approaching a volcano.
More on Stromboli volcano

Suwanose-jima Volcano (Ryukyu Islands, Japan)
29.53 N, 129.72 E, summit elevation 799 m, stratovolcano
Explosive eruptions.
JMA issued the Volcano Observation Reports Nos. 8-10 on Suwanosejima during October 11-15. Eruption at Otake crater began around 2 p.m. of Oct. 11, following the latest eruptive activity that ended on July 30. Volcanic tremor event of the eruption that started around noon of October 11 had continued as of the afternoon of October 15. Explosions counted up to eleven times. Acoustic microphone installed in the island recorded four times of shock waves associated with large explosions.
More on Suwanose-jima volcano

Iwo-jima Volcano (Volcano Islands, Japan)
24.75 N, 141.33 E, summit elevation 161 m, caldera.
Eruptions on NW of island.
Small eruption was observed at Idogahama (NW coast) of Iojima on the morning of Oct. 19. JMA issued the Volcano Observation Report on this volcano No. 3 in the afternoon of this day.
The Japan Maritime Self Defense Force reported grayish white-colored plume rising as high as 200-300 m for 2 to 3 minutes around 07:25 (JST) at Idogahama. The following plume rising of a similar scale was observed for 10 minutes since 08:06.
"JMA inspected the eruption activity from a helicopter, being supported by both Japan Maritime Self Defense Force and Japan Air Self Defense Force. Soon after receiving the news of the first eruption at 07:25 on Oct. 19, JMA dispatched a team to Iojima, and observed the eruption condition during 16:02-17:15 and measure the temperature with infrared camera. The eruption site is located in northwestern coast of the island. The main crater formed this time was about 10-m long, and 2 to 3-m deep. Intermittent gushing of black water containing debris was observed every 10 minutes (as shown photos below). The maximum height of white plume reached 600 m during the inspection. A temperature inside the crater was 56 degrees C." 
More on Iwo-jima volcano

October 21, 2001
Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii
Lava pours, sometimes explosively, into the sea at two entry points off the leading edge of the bench. The biggest change in the past week is how much larger the bench has grown. It now extends an estimated 80-100 m seaward from the old sea cliff. And, the bench has spread around the unstable point that used to form the east end of the bench. Now, the bench is continuous from a couple of hundred meters east of the point for about 320 m to the west. It reaches 40-50 m seaward from the former "point," which no longer has a precipitous sea cliff, and is growing daily. The bench has also thickened by overflows and inflation, so that now the top of the "point" is barely 10 m above the surface of the bench. (Hawaii Volcano Observatory).
More on Kilauea volcano.

October 21, 2001
New Zealand Earthquake (mag 6.8)
The following is a release by the United States Geological Survey, National Earthquake Information Center: A strong earthquake occurred OFF THE EAST COAST OF THE NORTH ISLAND OF NEW ZEALAND, about 130 miles (205 km) north-northeast of Gisborne or 375 miles (600 km) northeast of Wellington at 6:29 PM MDT today, Oct 20, 2001 (Oct 21 at 1:29 PM local time in New Zealand). A PRELIMINARY MAGNITUDE OF 6.8 WAS COMPUTED FOR THIS EARTHQUAKE. The magnitude and location may be revised when additional data and further analysis results are available. No reports of damage or casualties have been received at this time. This earthquake is in the same general area as a magnitude 7.0 event on August 21, which caused some power interruptions, but no structural damage on the North Island.

12-19th October, 2001
Soufriere Hills Volcano, Montserrat
Activity at the Soufrière Hills Volcano remained at an elevated level during the past week, although there was a reduction in seismicity compared with previous weeks. The cyclical nature of the seismic activity, which has been a dominant feature over recent months, also weakened.  The seismograph network recorded 207 rockfall signals, 6 long period events, 2 long period rockfalls, 9 hybrid events and 1 volcanotectonic earthquake.
 The active lava dome continued to grow at a moderate rate, producing pyroclastic flows on most days in the upper reaches of the Tar River valley. 
 Two significant collapse events occurred during the reporting period, involving residual material from the previous dome  (i.e. the pre-29 July dome).  On 14 October, after a day of torrential rainfall, several million cubic metres of unconsolidated talus was destabilised on the southeast flank of the pre-July 29 dome. This avalanched down the Tar River valley, producing sustained pyroclastic flows that reached the sea. Seismic activity indicates that the event began at about 17.15 Hrs and gradually intensified, peaking at 22.45 Hrs, before rapidly declining to background levels at 23.00 Hrs. Ash from this event was blown to the northwest and deposited over residential areas between Iles Bay and St Peter’s. Another collapse occurred on the morning of 16 October. This took place on the southern flank of the dome complex and produced numerous pyroclastic flows, which passed down the White River for approximately two thirds of the distance to the sea. A dense plume of ash was blown to the west on the prevailing wind. This collapse involved a substantial amount of unconsolidated talus of the pre-July 29 dome; but the actual volume is unknown at present, because low cloud has precluded observation of the summit region in this area.
More on Soufriere Hills Volcano.

October 19, 2001
Sheveluch Volcano, Kamchatka, Russia
Unrest at the volcano continues. A lava dome is growing in the active crater and, at any time with little warning, explosions could produce pyroclastic flows and ash plumes that rise as high as 7-10 km above sea level and localized ash fall. Seismic activity was above background levels this past week.
More on Sheveluch Volcano.

News reports before October 2001 are not archived.