Red Sea Volcanic Alert
The volcano on a Yemeni island in the Red Sea was spewing a deadly mix of lava and ash for the third straight day on Tuesday, after erupting for the first time since the 19th century. Three soliders had been killed during the eruption on the island of Jabal al-Tair, home to a garrison of 50 soldiers, and five others are missing. A team of volcanologists dispatched to the area reported that the eruption produced one kilometre (0.6 mile) long lava flows and blackened the water within a 9.7 kilometre (six mile) radius of the island. There had been considerable seismic activity around the island ahead of the eruption, the Yemeni defence ministry said on its website. It said an earthquake measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale had been recorded on Friday.
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The Yemen Volcanic Eruption
From National Geographic News: Yemen Volcano Erupts After 100 Years. Video
KENYA - Scientists are warning of a volcano risk if the proposed construction of a controversial soda ash factory at Lake Natron in Tanzania is allowed to go on. A report released by the scientists said that Ol Doinyo Lengai, a volcanic mountain situated 14 kilometers from Lake Natron where the construction is planned to take place, shows signs of extreme instability. "The area has experienced a series of earthquakes in the last few weeks and these do also represent a major hazard to the planned production site." Eruptions at the active volcanic mountain have in the recent past been causing a spate of earthquakes in Tanzania, reaching as far as Kenya. "The actual crater area shows signs of extreme instability and any hazard evaluation has to consider the sudden failure." If an eruption occurs, at risk is a community of an estimated 10,000 to 20,000, which rely entirely on cattle herding. "A major explosive eruption, with the magnitude of events as documented repeatedly for the last 2000 years, threatens to annihilate the basis for Maasai persistence in the Natron rift area, the rift shoulders of the Crater Highlands and the adjacent Serengeti plain." Environmentalists already saw the project as a threat to Lake Natron's ecosystem. With the new threat of the volcano, it is not yet apparent what course the project will take. India's largest conglomerate of companies, Tata Chemicals, has set its sights on building a soda ash processing factory capable of producing 500,000 metric tonnes of soda annually at Lake Natron. The environmentalists say that the lake which is in Tanzania and touches the border with Kenya is the only remaining significant breeding site for the lesser flamingo, a species that forms the majority of the world's flamingo population. Despite the warnings from environmentalists, the Tanzanian government seems keen to go on with the planned construction and has already carried out an environmental impact assessment that gave the project a green light.
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