More than 500 people have been evacuated from a tiny volcanic island after the eruption began without warning on Friday January 5.
Kadovar Island, a 365-metre-tall volcanic island just north-east of Papua New Guinea, was assumed to be dormant until it began to erupt on Friday for the first time ever in recorded history.
“It’s just a continuous emission of volcanic ash at the moment,” said Cheyne O’Brien, a forecaster at the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre.
#Wewak District Administrator #RickyWobar says the situation on #KadovarIsland has worsened.He made the statement after flying to assess the situation on the island with the #SamaritanAviation, where they observed lava coming out of the once dormant #volcano.Videos courtesy of #RickyWobar and the #SamaritanAviation
Posted by Loop PNG on Samstag, 6. Januar 2018
Kadovar Island and Indonesia sit on the Ring of Fire, which is a long horse-shaped chain of active volcanoes and earthquake along the edge of the Pacific Ocean.
The 25,000-mile ring stretches all the way from South America and North America to Japan and New Zealand on the other side of the ocean.
Kadovar’s ash clouds have been thrown up steadily to a height of 2,133 meters (7,000 feet), forming a plume that is traveling west-northwest, he added.
The plume does not yet pose a hazard to aviation, but a change in wind direction could hit operations at PNG’s Wewak airport, O’Brien said.
The Rabaul Volcanological Observatory has explained that the eruption could become explosive, and even bring in landslides and tsunamis to the region.
“Due to the steepness of the island, landslides are possible and together with the explosive nature of the magma, tsunamis may be generated,” it said.
“It appears from satellite imagery and aerial photographs that it started with mild vulcanian activity from a vent at the southeast base.”
“It’s hard to predict what might happen as there’s nothing to compare it to,” says Chris Firth, a vulcanologist at Macquarie University.