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Mon, 19 Nov 2018
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Iceland's second deadliest volcano stirs: A sharp earthquake swarm detected in Öræfajökull

The southernmost part of Vatnajökull glacier.
© Loftmyndir.is
The southernmost part of Vatnajökull glacier.
Several relatively strong earthquakes have been detected in one of the most powerful volcanoes in Iceland since yesterday. A total of 15 quakes have been recorded in the volcano in the past 48 hours, including two significant 2+ quakes: A 2.7 magnitude quake yesterday, Tuesday evening, at 20:13 and a second 2.6 magnitude quake today Wednesday at 12:45.

Volcano kept under close surveillance

According to the Seismic Monitoring System of the IMO the epicenter of yesterday's 2.7 magnitude quake was in the Southeastern part of the volcano's caldera at a depth of only 100 m (330 ft), while today's 2.6 magnitude tremor had an epicenter in the norther edge of the caldera at a depth of 2.2 km (7,200 ft) below the surface. Historically earthquakes have been extremely rare in Öræfajökull. Recently the volcano has been showing significantly greater levels of activity.

Arrow Up

Undersea volcanic eruptions detected at Ioto (Iwo Jima), Japan

Iwo Jima, now known officially as Ioto
© AP
Iwo Jima, now known officially as Ioto, is seen from an airplane in Japan in 2015. The Meteorological Agency said Wednesday that aerial photos detected signs of undersea volcanic eruptions off the southern coast of Iwo Jima, the site of one of the bloodiest campaigns in World War II.
Signs of undersea volcanic eruptions were detected at Iwo Jima, the site of one of the bloodiest battles in World War II, meteorological and defense officials said Wednesday.

Aerial photos taken by navy aircraft earlier Wednesday showed seawater shooting as high as 10 meters (33 feet) above the surface just off the island's southern coast, the Meteorological Agency said.

The island, which has been renamed Ioto, has been showing increased volcanic activity since the weekend, the agency said, warning of more eruptions. The island is 1,250 km (780 miles) south of Tokyo.

Ioto last had an undersea explosion off its northern coast in 2013, and small overland explosions at few places in 2015, the agency said.

Defense officials said troops stationed on the island are safe and there are no evacuation plans. The island is closed to civilians, except for those with permits to search for the remains of more than 10,000 soldiers still unaccounted for or to attend memorial services and other special events.

Eye 1

Guatemala's deadly and unstable volcano spews massive pyroclastic avalanche

Still unstable following a devastating and deadly eruption in June, Guatemala's 'Volcano of Fire' has spewed an avalanche of volcanic gas and rock, known as pyroclastic flow.

Aerial footage of the phenomenon shows the exact moment the volcano roars back to life, before dust ascends into the air and a deluge begins flowing in the direction of the Las Lajas ravine. The torrent of pyroclastic particles, authorities said, was most likely triggered by "gravity and instability of the ground" left by the landslide following the deadly volcanic eruption in June.


Volcano south of Anchorage, Alaska blows smoke, ash

Mount Veniaminof

Mount Veniaminof
One of Alaska's volcanoes has been showing signs of activity. The Alaska Volcano Observatory changed Mount Veniaminof's threat level from yellow to orange on Tuesday.

According to a notice from the AVO, the activity was noticed on Saturday with the volcano sending ash clouds up to 10,000 feet in the air. If the clouds exceed the 20,000 foot level, planes could be grounded as a result.

David Fee is the coordinating scientist for the AVO, and he says the volcano doesn't pose a threat to the nearby population at this time. He also says this particular volcano is known for being very active.

"It erupts frequently. I think the last one was in 2013, but before that there's been kind of frequent eruptions. I am trying to think of the number over the past 200 years, but it is at least 13 times in the last 200 years it's erupted," said Fee.


Papua New Guinea volcano erupts, sending thousands of villagers fleeing

The massive eruption sent a plume of ash nine miles into the sky, blocking out the sun

The massive eruption sent a plume of ash nine miles into the sky, blocking out the sun
Thousands of villagers have been forced to flee Papua New Guinea's Manam Island after a volcano erupted.

Around 2000 of the island's 9000 population had to be evacuated to safer ground in the early hours of Saturday.

The natural disaster began at 6am local time, sending an ash column more than 15km above sea level, the Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO) said.

The ash falls were so dense that sunlight was blocked for hours and trees broke under the weight.

"The most affected areas are Baliau and Kuluguma and due to the very poor visibility caused by the ash fall, people are using torch light to move around," the RVO's information bulletin read.


Mount Etna volcano in Italy spews plumes of ash and lava as it roars back into action

Mount Etna in Sicily has roared back into spectacular volcanic action, sending up plumes of ash and spewing lava as high as 500 feet into the air

Mount Etna in Sicily has roared back into spectacular volcanic action, sending up plumes of ash and spewing lava as high as 500 feet into the air
Mount Etna in Sicily has roared back into spectacular volcanic action, sending up plumes of ash and spewing lava into the air.

The volcano, the most active in Europe, initially 're-awoke' in late July but sprang into fuller action on Thursday evening, Italy's National Institute of Geophysics and Vulcanology said.

Chunks of flaming lava as high as 500 feet have been shot into the air almost constantly.

On Friday, INGV said the action was continuing, feeding ash plumes several hundred yards into the air above the crater.


Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo partly caused by massive volcano 'short circuiting' electrical current in atmosphere, study suggests

Napoleon tries to lead the final assault by his Imperial Guard at the Battle of Waterloo
© Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Napoleon tries to lead the final assault by his Imperial Guard at the Battle of Waterloo on 18 June, 1815
Heavy rain across Europe played key role in French emperor's defeat at Battle of Waterloo

A gigantic volcanic eruption in Indonesia led to the wet and muddy conditions which contributed to Napoleon Bonaparte's defeat at the Battle of Waterloo, a study has suggested.

Two months before the battle changed the course of European history, Mount Tambora erupted on the Indonesian island of Sumbawa, killing 100,000 people and hurling huge plumes of ash up to 62 miles into the atmosphere.

The electrically-charged ash "short circuited" the ionosphere, the upper atmospheric layer responsible for cloud formation, researchers from Imperial College London said.

It led to a "pulse" of cloud formation which brought heavy rain across Europe and played a part in the French emperor's defeat.

Lead scientist Dr Matthew Genge said: "Previously, geologists thought that volcanic ash gets trapped in the lower atmosphere, because volcanic plumes rise buoyantly. My research, however, shows that ash can be shot into the upper atmosphere by electrical forces."

Comment: Future volcanic eruptions could cause more climate cooling


Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts putting nation's second-biggest city on alert

Sabancaya "came back to life" in 1986
Peru's Sabancaya volcano, which is located less than 50 miles from the country's second city, Arequipa, has begun erupting, sending a column of ash more than two miles into the air.

The latest phase of eruptive activity follows reports of explosions at the volcano averaging 23 per day between August 6 and 12, as well as earthquakes and high levels of toxic sulphur dioxide gas.

The Volcano Discovery website characterised the eruption as "intermittent" while the Geophysical Institute of Peru (IGP) tweeted yesterday: "The ash from the Sabancaya was dispersed today towards the Northeast, East and Southeast of the volcano.

"The most important explosion of this day generated an erupting column of 3,500 metres from the base of the crater."


Japan prepares to evacuate Kuchinoerabu island as volcano warning level rises

Footage taken from a webcam shows the changing smoke around Kuchinoerabujima
The level four warning issued for Kuchinoerabu - or Kuchinoerabujima - tells residents to prepare to evacuate and is only one step away from mandatory evacuation orders.

Kuchinoerabu is located to the south of Japan roughly 1,000km south-west of Tokyo and has been suffering volcanic earthquakes and increased sulphur emissions at a peak on the island.

The warning had been at level two, which asked residents to avoid approaching the crater.

At present some 100 people live on Kuchinoerabu.

What happened the last time Kuchinoerabu erupted?

Comment: Flashfloods, wildfires, and other restless volcanoes have led to evacuations elsewhere in the world; check out the select few below that have occurred in just the last few months:


Surge in volcanic activity at Ambae, Vanuatu, blankets island with ash, thousands evacuated

volcano vanuatu
© Thomas Boyer/AFP
The volcano has been rumbling since September.
A MASSIVE humanitarian crisis is unfolding on a remote island in the Pacific Ocean after a volcanic eruption sent thick ash bucketing down on everything in sight.

Thousands of people in Ambae, a tiny, idyllic island in the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu, have been ordered to evacuate after a volcano at the centre of the island began to spew out thick ash - which has rained down on villages and blacked out the sun.

The volcano has been erupting in bursts since September, but a new UNICEF report this week revealed the situation was becoming increasingly dire for island inhabitants after a surge in volcanic activity.

Local media reports that all roads to the west of the island are cut and massive mud flows have washed away many roads.

It means the entire west side of the island is accessible only by sea or air, forcing volcano experts examining the terrifying situation to trek for hours to find villages filled with desperate residents who clamour for basic supplies.

Comment: Volcanoes may be common in the ring of fire but clearly this recent activity is unprecedented, and when we take into account similar events around the world, clearly there has been a surge in unusual and ominous volcanic activity - and not just on our planet: Worldwide volcanic activity uptick update, and new volcano discovered on Jupiter's moon Io

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