December, 2017, there are 36 continuously erupting volcanoes worldwide and 50 volcanoes that have an issued warning due to minor activity. Out of an estimated 1,500 active volcanoes, 50 or so erupt every year, spewing steam, ash, toxic gases, and lava. In 2017, erupting volcanoes included Shiveluch in Russia, Villarrica in Chile, Mount Sinabung and Mount Agung in Indonesia, Turrialba in Costa Rica, Piton de la Fournaise on Réunion Island, Kilauea on Hawaii, Popocatepetl and Volcán de Colima in Mexico, Bogoslof Volcano in Alaska, Manaro Voui in Vanuatu, Mount Etna in Sicily, and more. On the Indonesian island of Bali, a volcano called Mount Agung is spewing ash 5.5 miles into the sky, causing flight cancellations and trapping thousands of tourists and locals on the island, even as the potential for a bigger eruption looms. Bali’s international airport closure stranded close to 60,000 passengers and more than 100,000 people near the volcano were told to evacuate as explosions were heard more than 7 miles away.
The eruption of Mount Agung on the island of Bali has sparked worldwide media interest, yet volcanic eruptions in Indonesia are nothing new. Of the country’s 139 “active” volcanoes, 18 currently have raised alert levels, signifying higher than normal seismic activity, ground deformation or gas emissions. On a global scale, in any week in 2017, there were at least between 14 and 27 volcanoes erupting. Most observed volcanic activity takes place along the Pacific Ring of Fire, a region around the Pacific Ocean where several tectonic plates meet, causing earthquakes and a chain of what geologists call subduction zone volcanoes. Other eruptions occur at volcanoes within continental interiors such as Ol Doinyo Lengaiin Tanzania, or on oceanic islands like Hawaii. Many also take place hidden from view on the sea floor, with some of the most active underwater volcanoes located in the Tonga-Kermadec island arc in the south-west Pacific. It is the frequent, small- to moderate-sized eruptions that pose a constant volcanic threat. Around the globe today, about 800m people live within 100km, and 29m within 10km of active volcanoes. ‘Volcanic threat’, a measure that combines the level of hazard and the number of people exposed to it, is by far the highest in Indonesia, followed by the Philippines, Japan, Mexico and Ethiopia. These five countries combine to make up more than 90% of the total global volcanic threat. However, as a proportion of population, volcanic threat is highest on small islands such as Montserrat, which are entirely volcanic. Which are the volcanoes to watch in 2018? As well as Agung, here is our choice of some to keep an eye on:
KILAUEA, US; Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island has spewed basaltic lava almost continuously for 35 years and there is no reason to expect this eruption will end any time soon. The volcano continues to erupt at its summit and from the Puʻu ʻOʻo vent on its East Rift Zone, producing lava flows that occasionally enter the ocean. So these are some of the volcanoes that will need to be monitored closely over the next weeks and months. But volcanic unrest can also start suddenly at dormant volcanoes such as Hekla in Iceland which, based on its past record of decades of quiescence followed by sudden huge eruptions, may awake with little warning. Hawaii volcano eruption: governor requests emergency assistance: Hawaii governor David Ige has told the White House and the Federal Emergency Management Authority (Fema) the state will need help to deal with an erupting volcano that has prompted evacuations and destroyed 26 homes so far. Ige commented on Monday, as he met people on Big Island who have left their homes near the Kilauea volcano. A dozen lava vents have opened in streets of the Puna district and 26 homes are among 35 structures that have been destroyed. Evacuated residents do not know how long they will be displaced. The Puna district is a region of mostly unpaved roads of volcanic rock about a 30-minute drive from the coastal town of Hilo. Ige said he made the calls to federal officials because he it “was very important that we assure that state, federal and county assets would be available to keep” residents safe. Many people were permitted to return home during daylight hours on Sunday and Monday, during a lull in seismic activity. Residents of a second area, Lanipuna Gardens, were barred from returning home on Monday, due to deadly gases. Leilani Estates, about 12 miles from the volcano, was evacuated due to the risk of sulfur dioxide gas, which can be life-threatening at high levels. No deaths or major injuries have been reported. The south-east corner of the island was rocked by a powerful magnitude 6.9 earthquake on the volcano’s south flank on Friday. More earthquakes and eruptions have been forecast. Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, has been in constant eruption for 35 years. Emergency crews said they were poised to evacuate more people as fissures kept spreading, five days after Kilauea started exploding. Around 1,700 people have already been ordered to leave their homes after lava crept into neighborhoods and deadly volcanic gases belched up through cracks in the earth. The evacuation zone could grow as fissures are spreading into new areas on the eastern side of the Big Island, Hawaii civic defense administrator Talmadge Magno told a community meeting “If things get dicey, you got to get out,” Magno said. “If you live in the surrounding communities … be prepared. Evacuation could come at any time.”
January 8, 2018. Dormant volcano Kadovar wakes with first eruption in known history, spews lava. Residents on a volcanic island have been evacuated after a volcano, thought to be sleeping, woke up on the weekend. THE entire population of an island has been evacuated as concerns mount over a volcanic eruption that sprang out of nowhere. There are concerns the eruption could become explosive and bring a risk of tsunamis and landslides. The dormant volcano erupted in spectacular fashion over the weekend, spewing lava for the first time in known history and sending an ash cloud 2.1 kilometres above sea level. The volcano, on Kadovar Island northeast of Papua New Guinea, lay dormant until January 5, when it began to erupt at around noon, local media reports. Experts are calling it the “first surprise volcano to erupt in 2018”. Thick dust, clouds and smoke have carpeted the island, along with showering neighboring islands with ash as experts race to discover why the volcano sprang to life. The eruption also stripped much of the land on the island.
Guatemala Volcanic Eruption That Has Killed 99, Popular Mechanics: June 7, 2018.
Ninety-nine people have been killed and almost 200 others are missing after a volcano violently erupted in south-central Guatemala for more than 16 hours on Sunday. Lava spilled into houses in rural neighborhoods Sunday and Monday morning, and homes and roads were blanketed in layers of ash. Rescuers tried to make their way through charred streets to save residents in villages surrounding Guatemala City, but many were left trapped in their homes. “Not everyone was able to get out. I think they ended up buried,” a resident of El Rodeo told local news outlet Diario de Centroamerica. “Where we saw the lava fall, we ran to a hillside. A resident told CNN: “The only thing we could do was run with my family and we left our possessions in the house. Now that all the danger has passed, I came to see how our house was — everything is a disaster.” The death toll from the eruption rose to 99 on Thursday, NPR reported, with 197 listed as missing and presumed dead. The Volcan de Fuego, or “Volcano of Fire,” is 12,346 feet above sea level and is one of Latin America’s most active volcanoes. According to The Associated Press, the lava reached temperatures of about 1,300 degrees Fahrenheit on Sunday. The ash spread in a 12-mile radius, CNN reported. More than 3,000 people were evacuated from the affected areas. On Monday, a new pyroclastic flow, a dangerous mixture of rock fragments and gas, began erupting from the volcano, according to Reuters. And Guatemala’s National Institute of Seismology, Vulcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology warned there could be additional eruptions. CNN reports 1.7 million of the country’s 15 million or so people are affected by the ash.