Will the Vanuatu Volcano Erupt?

Posted on December 8, 2005

Vulcanologists are closely monitoring a Pacific underwater volcano to see if it will erupt. The volcano is located underneath a lake and is creating massive amounts of steam on Ambae Island. CNN reports that villagers have evacuated from Mount Manaro close the volcano and will be evacuated if an eruption does occur. A volcanologist told CNN that so far there are no signs of an imminent eruption.
If a large eruption was about to occur "we would see large scale deformation at the summit ... the (lake) water level rising ... ground cracking, high temperatures ... and we've not seen anything like that at all," he said.

The most likely scenario was that the volcano would continue "like it is for some days or weeks," he added.

Scott, from New Zealand's Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences, added the eruption at its current intensity was unlikely to cause a lahar -- a devastating river of mud -- by forcing up the level of the crater's Lake Vui, whose waters in recent days have been churned up from a picturesque aqua blue color to a muddy gray-brown.

Displaced villagers sat in the shade of trees looking up at the 3,000 meter (10,000-foot) plume as they waited to hear if they will be allowed home or forced to evacuate the island.
Ambae Island is part of a group of 83 islands called Vanuatu, which is located in the South West Pacific. Vanuatu Online describes the active volcanoes found on the islands.
Like all islands in the Pacific Rim of Fire, the archipelago lies between two side of a fault in the earth's crust which rub against each other and cause volcanic eruptions and earthquakes that can, on some occasions, be particularly impressive. The Vanuatu archipelago has countless craters of extinct and active volcanoes.

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