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Fears of a volcanic explosion on a Vanuatu Island

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User ID: 33808
12/05/2005 11:38 PM
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Fears of a volcanic explosion on a Vanuatu Island
Further to an earlier report posted on GLP, some experts fear the whole island may explode, Krakatoa style....

Vanuatu volcano causes mass evacuation
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December 6, 2005 - 12:47PM

Authorities in Vanuatu are evacuating thousands of villagers from homes near a volcano spewing ash and steam on the island of Ambae amid fears of a major eruption, officials say.

Local volcanologist Douglas Charlie said today the volcano "is one of the most dangerous in the world as itīs situated below a lake".

Lake Vui, which lies in the crater of Mount Manaro, could have its bottom torn open by the trembling mountain, causing "a gigantic explosion" as the water hits hot volcanic magma or rock inside the volcano, Charlie said by telephone from Ambae.

The volcanic lake is also being forced up toward the rim, sparking fears of a lahar or mud flow if the lake wall bursts, which could drown the villages that surround the mountain.

Vanuatu Prime Minister Ham Lini has yet to declare a state of emergency on the island but said he would do so if the situation worsens.

Mount Manaro first began tossing out ash and a plume of steam on November 27.

Officials, meanwhile, ordered 5,000 people living in 15 villages in a so called red zone round the mountain to move to the islandīs coast.

There, local schools and halls are being used to accommodate displaced villagers as some 2,000 tons of ash a day fall round the mountain base and white steam billows 1,500m above its cone.

Vanuatu, an archipelago of more than 80 islands and 200,000 people, lies 2,250km northeast of Sydney, Australia.

New Zealand volcanologist Steve Sherburn said Mount Manaro "currently is trembling or vibrating all the time."

Apart from shaking "we are not seeing any large quakes associated with the island" which suggests the trembling is originating from the eruptions in the lake, he said.

"There have been several eruptions on the island in the past and this (event) at the moment seems to be typical of some of the larger eruptions that weīve had," Sherburn told The Associated Press.

"Itīs significant activity but itīs not (yet) a large eruption," he added.

He said a party had hiked to the volcanoīs rim on Sunday and found the water of Lake Vui about 150m below the rim of the 1,500m mountain.

Already two ships have been sent to the island in case an evacuation is required, officials said.

Ambae, an hourīs flight northeast from the capital, Port Vila, lies near the islands of Pentecost and Maewo, which could be used to help resettle people displaced by a major eruption.

- AP
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User ID: 44986
United States
12/06/2005 08:34 AM
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Re: Fears of a volcanic explosion on a Vanuatu Island
At least the SURVIVOR cast isnīt there now!
<remembers episode with eq and volcano>
Don't argue with idiots, you'll never win!
User ID: 11632
New Zealand
12/06/2005 08:37 AM
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Re: Fears of a volcanic explosion on a Vanuatu Island
"At least the SURVIVOR cast isn´t there now!"

Yippeee, no americans in danger!