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3/25/2007

Rumbling Indonesian volcano forces evacuation

Volcanic News: Indonesia
March 24, 2007

Rumbling Mount Batutara volcano has triggered the evacuation of about 15,000 people, an official said Friday. The villagers have left their homes on Lembata island, which lies in the Flores sea close to the volcano. Groundwater in the two affected villages of Buyasuri and Omesuri had suddenly turned salty, and there were rougher seas around the smoking volcano's home on the nearby deserted island of Komba. Experts have raised Mount Batutara's alert level to the second of four possible levels, but say an eruption is not imminent.

The volcano had released hot lava and rocks over the last two days and shot clouds of hot air as high as 2,000 meters (6,600 feet).

VOLCANOES
PHILIPPINES - The Bulusan volcano in the province of Sorsogon renewed its threat of hazardous eruption as the seismic network detected two high frequency volcanic earthquakes in 24 hours on Friday. Moderate emission of steam was observed drifting southwest during times when the crater was visible. Government scientists confirmed its restive manifestations as early as Tuesday of last week. Ground deformation conducted this month showed slight inflation at the northest flank of the vocano. The sulfur dioxide emission rate is well above the baseline level. Residents near river and stream channels around the volcano were advised to be on alert against life-threatening volcanic flows of ash and other loose volcanic deposits from the upper slopes.

RUSSIA - Klyuchevskoi volcano on Friday was spewing lava to a height of 100-150 meters. "The volcano’s activity has sharply increased since it last erupted February 15. The size of the lava globs reaches several meters in diameter. We should expect lava flows to appear on the slope of the volcano anytime now.” Such eruptions have not taken place for more than 15 years.


Prior to its February eruption, Klyuchevskoi last came to life in January-May 2005. Following that eruption, the volcano "sank" by 50 meters (about 165 feet), from 4,800 meters (about 16,000 feet) to the current 4,750 meters (15,845 feet). Eruptions do not immediately threaten the Peninsula's settlements, but volcanic ash, consisting of magma particles with a diameter of up to 2 millimeters (.078 inches), can poison land and water, and they present a danger to aircraft.
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