Archived Volcano News - John Seach
January 1-15, 2005


News reports posted in Eastern Australian Time (UT + 10 hr)
Reports written by John Seach

Papua New Guinea Earthquake (Magnitude 6.1)
Saturday 15th January 2005
A large earthquake has hit the New Britain region close to Rabaul volcano. The magnitude 6.1 earthquake hit on Friday, January 14, 2005 at 06:33:13 PM local time. The epicenter was located 60 km (40 miles) ESE of Rabaul, one of the most active volcanoes in Papua New Guinea.
Volcanoes of Papua New Guinea...
More on Rabaul Volcano...

Kilauea Volcano (Hawaii)
19.425 N, 155.292 W, summit elevation 1222 m, Shield volcano
Friday 14th January 2005
Lava flows continue at Kilauea volcano in Hawaii with breakouts visible at 1600 ft elevation. No lava is near the coast. All the main vents in Pu`u `O`o's crater are glowing. The Pu`u `O`o-Kupaianaha eruption of Kilauea began in 1983 and has been continuing ever since. In 1983 lava fountaining built Pu`u `O`o cone. In 1986, the eruption shifted 3 km along the east rift zone to build a broad shield, Kupaianaha, which fed lava to the coast for the next 5.5 years. The eruption moved back to Pu`u `O`o crater in 1992. In 2002 lava flows reached the ocean in a location easily accessed by visitors, and created a spectacular display for thousands of people every day. Lava last entered the sea at the end of December 2004.
More on Kilauea volcano...
Volcanoes of Hawaii...

Eruptions in Guatemala
Wednesday 12th January 2005
Three volcanoes have erupted almost simultaneously in Guatemala. Pacaya, Santa Maria, and Fuego have all been emitting ash and lava, forcing residents to be evacuated. It is 31 years since all three volcanoes erupted together. 
Pacaya erupted a 75 m lava flow SW of the central crater. Santa Maria had incandescent explosions of lava with ash column to 1.6 km altitude. Ash fall reached nearby villages. Fuego erupted grey plumes 800 m above the crater. Incandescent lava was emitted 30 m above the crater and occasionally caused an avalanche of blocks towards the valley Taniluyá.
More on Pacaya Volcano...
More Santa Maria Volcano...
More on Fuego Volcano...

Bezymianny Volcano (Russia)
55.97 N, 160.58 E, summit elevation 2882 m, stratovolcano
Wednesday 12th January 2005
Bezymianny volcano erupted on Tuesday 11th January. Scientists predicted the eruption several days before it actually started. The seismic activity of the volcano had been increasing since January 3-4. The number of tremors and their magnitude grew every day. An ash plume reached 33,000 ft and drifted 150 km NW. The eruption started at 19:52 local time (10:52 Moscow time) on January 11 and reached its maximum between 20:23 and 20:31 local time. Its magnitude was three times greater than that of the previous eruption that occurred on June 19-20, 2004. Visual monitoring of the eruption was impossible due to bad weather conditions in the area at the time of the eruption. A  cyclone was passing over the region. Bezymyanny eruptions are very powerful, but normally do not last long. They regularly occur once or twice a year. The volcano does not present danger to inhabited areas of the peninsula. The nearest town Klychi is located 40 kilometers to the north of the volcano. Ash emissions might be dangerous for air traffic, and also to tourists, fishermen and hunters in the vicinity of the volcano. The volcano eruption has ended.
More on Bezymianny Volcano...

Teide Volcano (Canary Islands)
28.27 N, 16.64 W, summit elevation 3715 m, stratovolcano
Tuesday 11th January 2005
A report has been received of an increase in unrest at Tiede volcano in the Canary Islands over the past 2 weeks. Carbon dioxide emissions have risen from 75 to 354 tons per day. Hydrogen sulphide emissions have risen from 35 to 152 tons per day. Seismic activity remains elevated under the volcano. Fumaroles have increased in their pressure, and now emit sounds. There is no significant deformation of the land observed.
More on Teide volcano...

Popocatepetl Volcano (Mexico)
19.023 N, 98.622 W, summit elevation 5426 m, stratovolcano
Tuesday 11th January 2005
A large eruption occurred at Popocatepetl volcano on 9th January at 16:47 hours. Ash emission reached 5 km above the crater, followed by ashfall in surrounding towns. The intense phase of the eruption lasted 15 minutes and was followed by high frequency tremor. After the erruption Popocatepetl returned to its previous level of activity which consisted of low intensity emissions of steam, gas and occasionally small amounts of ash. The traffic light of volcanic alert is in YELLOW-1. Access is restricted in a radius of 12 km from the crater. 
More on Popocatepetl volcano...

Anatahan Volcano (Mariana Islands)
16.35 N, 145.67 E, summit elevation 788 m, Stratovolcano
Tuesday 11th January 2005
The eruption of Anatahan volcano continues to increase, with explosions occurring every 10 seconds. Anatahan is an uninhabited island located 75 miles north of Saipan and 200 miles north of Guam. No ash fall has been reported on Saipan so far. Anatahan volcano first erupted after centuries of inactivity on May 10, 2003, with ash plume rising to an altitude of more than 30,000 feet.
More on Anatahan Volcano...

Taal Volcano (Philippines)
14.002 N, 120.993 E, summit elevation 400 m, stratovolcano
Monday 10th January 2005
Two earthquakes hit Taal volcano last night (Sunday 9th January). The earthquakes were small but sent resident into panic, who feared a tsunami. About 300 families fled to Pulo public market and Balas High School in Talisay. Taal volcano has a history of destructive tsunamis which accompany volcanic activity. The alert status at Taal volcano has been increased to level 1. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology stated that an eruption is unlikely at this time, but warned residents to stay away from the danger zone.
More on Taal Volcano...
More on volcanic tsunamis...

Anatahan Volcano (Mariana Islands)
16.35 N, 145.67 E, summit elevation 788 m, Stratovolcano
Monday 10th January 2005
The activity at Anatahan volcano intensified last Tuesday and Wednesday after months of low seismic activity. An overflight showed red lava being thrown hundreds of feet into the air by Strombolian eruptions. The volcano is also emitting ash to 5000 ft elevation which is falling back on to the island, threatening to bury the regrowing vegetation which was covered in the 2003 eruptions, where more than a million cubic metres of ash were deposited on land and sea. During the last 48 hours, the seismic signals have changed from harmonic tremor to broader band tremor with frequent explosion signals, several times per minute.
More on Anatahan Volcano...

Mt Etna Volcano (Italy)
37.73 N, 15.00 E, summit elevation  3350 m, Shield volcano
Sunday 9th January 2005
Ash eruptions were visible at Mt Etna volcano on the morning of 8th January. A significant amount of ash was was emitted from SE crater. A strong northerly wind sent ash towards the south. The activity was of short duration, and the crater returned to steam emissions after one day. This new activity was not preceded by seismic activity, similar to the lava flow last September. A red glow was visible at SE crater, indicating the proximity of magma to the surface. This indicates an increase in activity at the volcano, and the first eruptions from SE crater in more than a year.
More on Mt Etna volcano...

Anatahan Volcano (Mariana Islands)
16.35 N, 145.67 E, summit elevation 788 m, Stratovolcano
Friday 7th January 2005
The third recorded eruption of Anatahan volcano began about 0540 UT (1540 MI) on 4th January. The eruption was preceded by two days of seismic activity at the volcano. The eruption was small and no large explosions were recorded. A low plume of ash up to about 500 ft was visible on January 5th (MI). A hotspot was visible on satellite images indicating the proximity of magma to the surface. The Emergency Management Office, Office of the Governor, CNMI, has placed Anatahan Island off-limits until further notice and concludes that, although the volcano is not currently dangerous to most aircraft within the CNMI airspace, conditions may change rapidly, and aircraft should pass upwind of Anatahan or farther than 30 km downwind from the island and exercise due caution within 30-50 km of Anatahan.
More on Anatahan Volcano...

Tsunami Early Warning Systems
Thursday 6th January 2005
The December 2004 tsunami highlighted the small degree of preparedness the world has for natural disasters. Volcanic eruptions can also cause tsunamis (Krakatoa 1883), therefore tsunami early warning systems must also include a component of volcano monitoring. Only one third of the world's active volcanoes are monitored. One of the largest tsunamis over the past 20 years occurred as the result of a volcanic eruption in 1996 at Karymsky Lake. The strongest eruption event produced a tsunami with a runup of 30 m on the shore. This was compared to 10 m from the December 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean. The eruption of Krakatoa (Krakatau) in 1883 produced a tsunami of 40 m height. There is some debate over the role of Cumbre Vieja Volcano in the Canary Islands, which may be capable of producing a large tsunami which could affect the whole Atlantic Ocean, including the east coast of USA. The role of volcanic eruptions in the generation of tsunamis cannot be ignored. Report by John Seach.
More on Krakatau volcano...
More on Karymsky volcano...
More on Cumbre Vieja Volcano...

Veniaminof Volcano (Alaska)
56.17 N, 159.38 W, summit elevation 2507 m, stratovolcano with summit caldera
Thursday 6th January 2005
The color code for Mount Veniaminof has been upgraded to "yellow". This follows ash emissions from the intracaldera cone. Ash emissions are small and rise several hundred feet above the cone. Ashfall is likely to be confined to the caldera. Weak seismic tremor started on January 1, and has increased slightly over the past 2 days. Steam and ash emissions may continue intermittently and could pose a hazard to people and low-flying aircraft in the vicinity of the active cone. This activity is above the normal background level.
More on Veniaminof Volcano...

No Volcanoes Active in Andaman Islands (India)
Wednesday 5th January 2005
Correction to previous report.
The previous reports of volcanic activity in the Andaman Islands are incorrect. I have received confirmation from Prof D. Chandrasekharam who stated the volcanic arc is not showing any activity. No volcanic activity is seen in all the volcanoes in the Barren and Norcondam volcanic islands.
Volcanoes of India...

Manam Volcano (Papua New Guinea)
4.10 S, 145.06 E, summit elevation 1807 m, Stratovolcano
Tuesday 4th January 2005
The Papua New Guinea Defence Force will deploy 50 soldiers this week to assess the resettlement situation for the Manam islanders displaced by the 2004 eruptions. The defence force operations could last for about six months and the deployed soldiers will be working with the district and provincial authorities in coordinating the disaster operations. About 9,000 people are being relocated from Manam Island to the mainland in Madang province because of continuing dangers from Manam volcano.
More on Manam Volcano...
Volcanoes of Papua New Guinea...

Manam Volcano (Papua New Guinea)
4.10 S, 145.06 E, summit elevation 1807 m, Stratovolcano
Monday 3rd January 2005
Eruptions are continuing at Manam volcano in Papua New Guinea. Ash emisions reached 18,000 ft. Stronger eruptions are possible. The volcano remains at level 2 alert.
More on Manam Volcano...
Volcanoes of Papua New Guinea...

Great Earthquake Aftershock (Indonesia) - Magnitude 6.5
Sunday 2nd January 2005
A new large earthquake has hit the Sumatra region. The magnitude 6.5 earthquake hit 340 km (215 miles) W of Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia on Saturday, January 01, 2005 at 01:25:44 PM local time. There were no reports of injuries or tsunamis from the new earthquake. Following the great magnitude 9.0 earthquake to hit Indonesia on 26th December 2004, many large aftershocks continue to be recorded. Toll from the great earthquake and tsunami:
Indonesia: 80,248 persons killed and 1,541 are missing. More than a hundred thousand people are living in temporary shelters and camps. 
Maldives: 12,200 homeless.
Sri Lanka: 28,551 deaths, 889,175 people displaced with over 82,320 houses destroyed.
Thailand: 4,798 dead, 6,384 still missing.
India: 8942 killed, 3874 missing.
Total death toll from the earthquake and tsunami may reach 150,000.
Volcanoes of Indonesia...
More on Tsunamis...