The Royal Australian Navy’s Landing Ship Dock, HMAS CHOULES, is seen at anchor off the coast of Bougainville during Operation RENDER SAFE 14. Image Via Royal Australian Navy
By Garfield Clinton Reynolds (Bloomberg) Australia is sending a naval vessel to help Vanuatu in its efforts to evacuate 11,000 residents from Ambae Island as a volcano there threatens to erupt.
The HMAS Choules left Australia on Saturday morning and is expected to arrive in the middle of next week, the Australian government said in an emailed statement. The Choules is carrying specialists, supplies and a landing craft. Australia has committed A$250,000 ($196,000) to provide supplies and sent a team of humanitarian and military experts due to arrive Saturday.
In Vanuatu, a fleet of ships including ferries and commercial vessels has begun moving people from Ambae to nearby islands. The Choules can carry more than 300 troops, along with landing craft, tanks and trucks, as well as operating Navy helicopters, according to the Australian Navy’s website.
by Alison Bevege (Reuters) – Vanuatu has launched a Dunkirk-style evacuation on the northern island of Ambae as a flotilla of boats rescues islanders from an erupting volcano.
The eruption has polluted many of the island’s water sources leaving thousands of people in need of safe drinking water, Red Cross delegate Joe Cropp told Reuters by phone on Sunday.
“Water is crucial,” he said. “It’s important to get on top of it right away.”
The Manaro Voui volcano, the nation’s largest, was seen hurling steam and rocks into the air by New Zealand vulcanologist Brad Scott who flew over the volcano on Saturday.
“Maybe about every 8 to 10 seconds there was an explosion, throwing lava bombs up maybe 50 to 100 meters above the crater and there’s also two small lava flows that are flowing across the island into the lake as well,” he said in an interview with Radio NZ published on Sunday.
Crowds of islanders from at least three evacuation points on the island have begun boarding a flotilla of ships including ferries, canoes and commercial vessels for the safety of surrounding islands Maewo, Pentecost and Santo.
The Vanuatu Government wants all 11,000 islanders evacuated by Oct. 6.
Australia sent amphibious Bay Class landing ship HMAS Choules on Saturday to help move the population, and it is expected to arrive by the middle of the week.
Some islanders are flying out while others have already moved to stay with friends or relatives in the capital, Port Vila.
More than 6000 people have gone to emergency shelters on the South Pacific island in preparation for the total evacuation.
Manaro Voui stirred to life in September, threatening island residents with burning ash, toxic gas and acid rain.
The volcano is crowned by crater lakes. One of them, Lake Voui, is directly on top of the eruption making it dangerously explosive and posing the deadly threat of a lahar: a boiling mud flow down the side of the mountain, Macquarie University vulcanologist Christopher Firth told Reuters by telephone on Saturday.
Scientists from the US Geological Survey who breezily informed the public that there’s “nothing to worry about” with regards to the Yellowstone caldera, a supervolcano that should it erupt could cause potentially hundreds of thousands of deaths, should be eating their words.
Since about mid-July, the earth beneath the volcano has been shifting in a sign that magma could be rushing into the caldera’s main chamber. Since then, there have been roughly 2,500 small-scale earthquakes recorded near the volcano, the largest stretch on record. Previous estimates had assumed that the process that led to the eruption took millenniums to occur.
The same estimates that USGS based their warning on.
As the New York Times explains, the Yellowstone caldera is a behemoth far more powerful than your average volcano. It has the ability to expel more than 1,000 cubic kilometers of rock and ash at once, 2,500 times more material than erupted from Mount St. Helens in 1980, which killed 57 people. That could blanket most of the United States in a thick layer of ash and even plunge the Earth into a volcanic winter.
As the Times points out, scientists expect a supervolcano eruption to scar the planet once every 100,000 years.
To reach their conclusion, the team of scientists spent weeks at Yellowstone’s Lava Creek Tuff – a fossilized ash deposit from the volcano’s last supereruption, where they gathered samples and analyzed the volcanic leftovers. The analysis allowed the scientists to pin down changes in the lava flow before the last eruption. The crystalline structures of the rocks recorded changes in temperature, pressure and water content beneath the volcano just like tree rings do.
“We expected that there might be processes happening over thousands of years preceding the eruption,” said Christy Till, a geologist at Arizona State, and Ms. Shamloo’s dissertation adviser. Instead, the outer rims of the crystals revealed a clear uptick in temperature and a change in composition that occurred on a rapid time scale. That could mean the super eruption transpired only decades after an injection of fresh magma beneath the volcano.”
Thanks to this research, scientists are beginning to realize that the conditions that would lead to a supervolcano eruption could emerge during a human lifetime. As the research continues, scientists hope they will be able to spot more signs of a coming eruption.
“It’s one thing to think about this slow gradual buildup – it’s another thing to think about how you mobile 1000 cubic kilometers of magma in a decade,” she said.
While scientists at the USGS have brushed off the threat of a supervolcano eruption, scientists at NASA have at least acknowledged the threat to the US population. The agency has devised a potential strategy to try and defuse an eruption should one appear imminent, though according to several the techniques involved – specifically, pumping water directly into the volcano’s magma chamber – involve significant risks.
But who knows? If the research is accurate, an eruption could emerge as a serious threat to the US – and possibly the global population – population as the fallout kills crops and livestock, causing widespread famine, while clouds of choking ash and debris spread for hundreds, if not thousands, of miles.
A new seismic swarm has been registered by the National Geographic Institute (IGN) in the south of La Palma in the deadly Cumbre Vieja, the same area where it was rocked by 50 earthquakes in three days last weekend.
Forty-four new small earthquake with magnitudes between 0.9 and 2.1 were recorded between 1.52pm on Friday to 4.17pm on Saturday.
The earthquakes from the huge Cumbre Vieja volcano sparked panic across the Canary Islands, with volcano experts pulled in to examine the unusual seismic activity.
María José Blanco, director of the IGN in the Canary Islands, said this swarm was the same "in principle" as last weekend.
At least it's not the island "El Hierro" - the one that "threatens to split in two provoking a tsunami".
A decade ago, vacationing on Fuerteventura, took the day-ferry over to Lanzarote to walk around the hot lava at Lanzarote...
One of the reasons I live West of the Appalachians and 100s of miles East of New Madrid. And I carry Earthquake insurance ever since I felt a rumble in Springfield, Ohio from a quake in Western Kentucky.
Published on Oct 30, 2017
THE French Alps have been rocked by 140 mini-quakes in just 40 days - sparking fears a huge earthquake could strike at any time.
There are also fears the tremors could lead to a deadly avalanche hitting dozens of popular ski resorts in the Alps mountain. https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4801001...
Forecasters said Monday that gusty winds and 1 to 2 feet of snow are likely Saturday and Sunday along California’s main mountain passes, including Donner Pass near Lake Tahoe, Tioga Pass at Yosemite, Ebbetts Pass and Carson Pass, with perhaps a foot along the shoreline of Lake Tahoe this weekend.
“There’s a potential for chain requirements, travel delays and possible road closures.” said Chris Hintz, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sacramento. http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/10/30...