Vanuatu volcano activity sparks warning

PHOTO: NASA Earth Observatory

Volcanic activity at Vanuatu’s Mount Garet on Gaua Island has increased under Alert Level 2, which is the major level of unrest, reports the Vanuatu Daily Post.

Observations confirmed current activity consists of ongoing volcanic steam clouds which may contain volcanic gases.

A significant thick ask plume emitted from the vent after a strong, heavy explosion was heard by villagers, especially in Naveto village of northeast Gaua, yesterday morning.

This activity is likely to continue at this same level or increase to the minor eruption level (Level 3), said the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department (VMDG).

The VMGD advised that at this level, eruptions can occur with little or no warning.

“The danger zone for life safety is limited to the volcanic cone. The level of risk for visitors accessing areas around Mt Garet is high,” said VMGD.

“Villages exposed to wind direction may expect volcanic gases and/or ash falls impact and other volcanic risk could occur at any time in such major unrest state. Visitors will continue to smell volcanic gas while approaching the cone.”

Gaua is one of Vanuatu’s active volcanoes.

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