A large 20km high Eruption has occcurred off the shores of Papua New Guinea.
This unexpected eruption comes just 4 days after the M7.0 earthquake struck near the same location.
The eruption occurred at Manam Volcano in PNG.
Volcano in Papua New Guinea Fires Off a 12-Mile-High Plume
“The Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center has confirmed a new eruption from Manam in Papua New Guinea.
Now, initial reports of big eruptions can be dicey, but from reports on the ground and from passing aircraft, the plume from Manam may be as tall as ~20 km (65,000 feet), with the ash drifting to the southwest.
There aren’t a lot of details, but this does look similar to an explosive eruption at Manam that occurred back in 2004-05. Over the past few weeks, the volcano has been producing smaller ash plumes that reached 8-10 km, but as the Himawari-8 satellite loop (above) shows, this plume is much bigger.
You can also see an IR satellite loop from Himawari-8 that shows the growing plume. No word on the people who live on Manam who returned after evacuation during the 2004-05 eruptions.
UPDATE 11:15 AM July 31
- Ash from the Manam eruption has coated a number of towns, including Bogia, on the coast of New Guinea.
- In the same report, officials in PNG suggest that this eruption “opened” the magmatic system so more eruptions could be forthcoming.
- Initial estimates (from OMI and OMPS measurements) of the blast put the sulfur dioxide emitted at 1.9-2.2 kT, which is relatively small (and likely a low-end estimate).
- If you want to see the eruption in true color (see below), check out this great Himawari-8 satellite loop. It shows that the blast was fairly ephemeral, with an initial blast that dissipated after a few hours. This might support the “throat-clearing” suggested by local officials.
- In a bit of an eerie coincidence, officials from Manam and Bogia just recently settled their discord over the resettlement of over 1,000 volcanic refugee from the 2004 eruption of Manam to Bogia. The refugees from 2004 have yet to find permanent homes after having to leave the island. More than 9,000 were initially evacuated in 2004.
- However, more than 5,000 people still live on the island and are being evacuated to the Madang mainland and will likely be permanently resettled. Two injuries from the eruption have been reported so far as well.
- The Rabaul Volcano Observatory doesn’t have much information on the eruption due to Manam’s location, but rumbling was heard at Bogia in the hours leading up to and during the eruption.