Blue Planet

Rushed evacuations as Philippine Mayon volcano spews lava

Lava flows from the crater of Mayon volcano, as seen from Legazpi City, Albay province, southeast of Manila, on September 17, 2014
Lava cascaded down the Philippines' most active volcano on Wednesday as authorities rushed to evacuate thousands ahead of a possible deadly eruption.

Mostly women, children and the elderly carrying bags of clothes were hauled out of farming villages near Mayon volcano's slopes on board army trucks and minibuses.

Soldiers went from house to house asking residents to evacuate, after authorities on Monday raised the third highest alert in a five-step scale, meaning a full-scale eruption is possible "within weeks".

Before dawn Wednesday, Mayon's crater glowed red as molten rocks flowed as far as halfway down its slopes.

The volcano's world-renowned perfect cone appeared to have been deformed, swollen with lava that had risen from the Earth's core.

At least 8,000 of the target 50,000 people had been moved to temporary shelters, with the operation expected to run for three days, regional civil defence director Bernardo Alejandro told AFP.
Bizarro Earth

Is Hawaii's Mauna Loa poised to erupt?

© Hollyn Johnson/Tribune-Herald
Mauna Loa is seen Saturday morning from West Hawaii. -
As Kilauea continues to threaten lower Puna, geologists are also keeping their eyes on the volcano's much larger cousin - Mauna Loa. According to the U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, Mauna Loa, the largest active volcano on the planet, has been rumbling and showing signs of awakening for more than a year.

An eruption isn't imminent, and no warnings are being issued, but the towering 13,678-foot mountain is going through the same motions that it did before its 1984 and 1975 eruptions, said Wes Thelen, HVO seismologist. The activity includes faint, shallow earthquakes to the west of the summit and "deep long period" temblors 28 to 31 miles below the surface, both of which point to the intrusion of magma.

"All the signs are there that tells us that magma is moving into the shallow system," Thelen said. He said monitoring equipment, much more sophisticated than what was in place in the 1980s, is continually detecting magnitude 0.5 quakes about 4 miles below the surface in the same areas where activity was detected in the years leading up to the last eruptions. Thelen noted he is confident the small earthquakes are a recent development.
Bizarro Earth

It's not just the magma that could be a problem if Iceland's rumbling Bardarbunga erupts

The red-hot fountains of molten lava, glowing like wildfire, are nothing short of spectacular. Yet they could be ominous portents of things to come. For the second time in four nail-biting years, seismologists in the land of fire and ice, Iceland, are bracing for a monumental volcanic eruption that, once again, threatens to disrupt European air traffic.

Back in 2010, the Eyjafjallajokull volcano, which melted through 200 metres of glacier, sent more than 200 million cubic metres of fine ash billowing almost 10 kilometres into the sky. As a result, several European countries were forced to ground or re-route thousands of flights for several days.
Bizarro Earth

Lava on Hawaii's Big Island creeping up on vacant lots in rural subdivision

© AP Photo/U.S. Geological Survey, Tim Orr
This Monday Sept. 8, 2014, aerial photo provided by the USGS
Lava from one of the world's most active volcanos soon could reach three vacant lots in a rural subdivision on Hawaii's Big Island, but officials are hopeful homes will be spared. Based on the lava's movement of about 200 to 300 yards a day, the flow from Kilauea volcano was expected to reach the lots in Kaohe Homesteads in coming days, Hawaii County spokesman Kevin Dayton said.

The large lot closest to the flow is owned by the state, while the other two are privately owned, he said. "The fact that it's veering somewhat to the north as opposed to the east is a hopeful sign," Dayton said.

While no evacuations have been ordered, residents were asked to remain on alert and be prepared for possible changes in the lava's course. The slow-moving molten rock could spread and slow even further in coming days as it moves from a steeper grade to more level land, Dayton said.

The lava was about 3 miles from Pahoa Village Road and 3.5 miles from Highway 130, Dayton said. Highway 130 is a lifeline for the mostly rural Puna district, which would be cut off from the rest of the island if lava crosses the busy two-lane highway.
Bizarro Earth

Indonesia's Mount Lokon and Mount Slamet volcanoes exhibit multiple eruptions causing evacuations

Mount Slamet

Mount Slamet erupts as viewed from Dawuhan village, Brebes, Central Java, Indonesia, on Sept. 11, 2014.
Jakarta, Indonesia: Mount Slamet volcano in Central Java province erupted again on Friday, spewing a column of ash by up to one km high, prompting more than 20,000 villagers living on the slope of the volcano to prepare for evacuation, officials said. Indonesian authorities have put the Mount Slamet volcano on the second-highest alert level after it erupted 38 times on September 11, spewing lava some 1,500 meters (5,000 feet) into the air.
Bizarro Earth

Bárdarbunga eruption pushing sulfur fumes into Norway's airspace

gas emissions Holuhran lava field Bardarbunga volcano

Satellite image shows gas emissions from the Holuhran lava field near the Bardarbunga volcano in early September.
People on Norway's coast have reported a strong smell of sulfur in the air this week, and experts say it's coming from a surprising source: Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano, 800 miles away.

Bardarbunga sits about seven miles under the Dyngjujökull glacier, which is more than 800 miles west, and across the Atlantic, from Norway. But as Vibeke Thyness at the Norwegian Medical Institute told Norway's public broadcasting radio station, NRK, weather, along with a very active few weeks at the volcano, have likely combined to push the sulfur into Norway's air space.

"This is quite a large spill," Thyness tells NRK. She explained that high pressure over Scotland, along with wind and only a little rain, has made it possible for the fumes to travel so far. While Thyness said the fumes themselves aren't something that will endanger the public in Norway, the Iceland Review said residents in eastern Iceland have complained about sore throats, stinging eyes and headaches. The news agency said families were told to avoid being outside for long periods of time, particularly children and people with respiratory illnesses.

Comment: See: Bardarbunga erupts with lava fountains up to 50 meters

Bizarro Earth

52 volcanoes posing a 'serious threat' to the U.S. aren't being well-monitored

Last Friday's eruption at Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano had many worried about the possible impacts of a larger eruption on air travel. Another eruption at Hawaii's Kilauea volcano has caused a state of emergency to be declared on Big Island, as lava flows from the ongoing eruption have advanced within a mile of a residential zone.

That's just one example of how much danger volcanoes pose to the U.S. - and we aren't doing much about it. Compared with Iceland, the U.S. is much more vulnerable to volcanic disasters - and has been failing at monitoring these risks, according to a government report.
Bizarro Earth

Video captures explosive volcanic eruption in Papua New Guinea

Volcano Eruption
© The Independent, UK
Sonic boom rocks Australian holidaymaker's boat as he films the spectacle.
Incredible footage of a volcanic eruption shown sending a powerful shockwave rippling through the clouds above it has been captured by a holidaymaker.

Philip McNamara was on a boat off the coast of Papua New Guinea filming Mount Tavurvu in the distance when the volcano exploded, sending up a plume of ash and smoke.

The brave Australian tourist, a taxi driver from Townsville, Queensland, held steady to capture footage of one of nature's most powerful and devastating spectacles.

The explosion happened on August 29, but the minute-long video was only shared on YouTube for the first time on Friday and has since been viewed more than 200,000 times.

Comment: Earth keeps changing, are you curious as to why? Check out Earth Changes and the Human Cosmic Connection by Sott's own Pierre Lescaudron


Bardarbunga erupts with lava fountains up to 50 meters

© Reuters/Armann Hoskuldsson
Lava fountains are pictured at the site of a fissure eruption near Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano September 2, 2014.
A volcanic eruption has created an almost post-apocalyptic landscape in Iceland. Streams of lava are spewing out, reminiscent of Mount Doom in Lord of the Rings. And there is still a significant risk to air traffic, with the current 'Orange' warning.

The Orange level, is the second highest on a five-color scale. So far no ash has been visible, but this could change.

Lava fountains rose to around 50 meters on Sunday at the Bardarbunga volcano, which took the aviation warning to red, the highest on the scale. There has been a lot of seismic activity in the area and Einar Heinarsson, a spokesman from Iceland's department of civil protections says, "The eruption is still going on at the same pace as before. It has been continuous."


Extinct underwater volcano discovered beneath Pacific Ocean

Underwater Volcano
© Image courtesy of the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping/Joint Hydrographic Center
The newly discovered seamount rises up some 3,600 feet (1,100 meters) from the seafloor near the Johnston Atoll, at a depth of about 16,730 feet (5,100 m) under the Pacific Ocean.
Lurking some 3.2 miles (5.1 kilometers) beneath the Pacific Ocean, a massive mountain rises up from the seafloor, say scientists who discovered the seamount using sonar technology.

The seamount is about two-thirds of a mile high (1.1 kilometers), researchers said. Seamounts, rocky leftovers from extinct, underwater volcanoes, are found on ocean floors around the world. The newly discovered seamount is about 186 miles (300 km) southeast of Jarvis Island, an uninhabited island in a relatively unexplored part of the South Pacific Ocean, experts said.

"These seamounts are very common, but we don't know about them, because most of the places that we go out and map have never been mapped before," James Gardner, a University of New Hampshire research professor who works at the university's NOAA Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping/Joint Hydrographic Center, said in a statement. [See Images of the Newfound Pacific Ocean Seamount]