The eruption of Mount Agung volcano on Bali on Monday forced closure of the Ngurah Rai International Airport after ash from the volcano found its way to the airport’s airspace, resulting in its closure. Here is a look at the volcanic eruptions that took place this year:
Popocateptl volcano, Mexico (November, 2017): Also known as ‘Popo’, the Mexican volcano had three eruptions that were explosive and sent fragments into the sky. The explosion covered nearby villages in ash and smoke. Popocateptl has been termed an active volcano since the mid-1990s. Local authorities have placed the volcano on yellow alert, asking residents to avoid outdoor activities. Mexico houses more than 3,000 volcanos, 14 of which are active.
Popocateptl frequently erupts ash and smoke billows out but is seldom considered to be life-threatening. An eruption that took place in 2000 made the authorities evacuate around 50,000 people.
Mount Etna, Italy (January, 2017): The active volcano situated on Eastern Coast of Sicily is well known for its eruptions. The eruption that took place in January this year produced a lava fountain resulting from gas-rich magma that rose to the surface and erupted with an explosion. The explosion also resulted in a stream of lava coming from the volcanic crater. The cloud of ash rising from the eruption did not cause any major inconvenience to the air traffic this year.
Mount Etna has the reputation of being one of the most active volcanoes globally. The reputation has some constructive fall outs as well. The soil that has been produced due to millennia of volcanic activity is suited for certain types of agriculture and supports vineyards and orchards and also provides fertility to the Plains of Catania, located on the south of the volcano.
Kamchatka, Russia (March 25, 2017): The Kamchatka Peninsula is a part of a group of volcanic sites known as the ‘Ring of Fire’. It is comprised of volcanoes across the length and breadth of the Pacific Ocean. Despite the peninsula being well known for its volcanoes with multiple eruptions going on simultaneously, the Kambalny volcano, which erupted in March this year, is considered to be comparatively quiet in terms of eruptions.
The images from NASA observatory satellites showed the plumes rising from Kambalny as well the snow covered with ash.
Poas, Costa Rica (April 13, 2017): The Central American nation of Costa Rica witnessed the largest explosive eruption in recent years. Poas which happens to be a hotbed of volcanic activity is the site of an active volcano that has erupted 40 times since 1828. The eruption that took place this year was driven by water heated at the summit crater lake which caused something known as a “phreatic” eruption in geological terms. Water converting into pressurised steam due to tremendous heat is the driving force behind a phreatic eruption. The thermal energy thus produced, can send plumes that reach over a kilometer.
Reports also mentioned ash deposition in the surrounding region, red-hot blocks suggesting magma close to the surface, and boulders at least 2 meters wide being launched from the lake vent.
Shinmodake, Japan (October 12, 2017): Mount Shinmoe on Japan’s Kyushu island erupted for the first time in six years. The eruption sent up ash almost 2,000 meters (6,560 feet) in the air on October 12 this year. The Japanese Meteorological Agency raised the warning level for a volcanic eruption to Level 3 and restricted entry to the mountain. It warned that the volcano might grow and become more active.
Manam, Papua New Guinea (April 16, 2017): Papua New Guinea’s Manam volcano erupted on April 16, 2017, forcing evacuations at 07:00 pm local time. Authorities changed the Aviation Color Code to Orange. The eruptions took place from two craters. The fire came out of both craters, the one located between Bokure village and Kaulang village, and the one located between Dugulava and Warisi villages. The clouds from eruptions left the island in dark.
Bogoslof Volcano, Alaska (May 28, 2017): Alaska’s Bogoslof Volcano erupted on May 28, 2017 and sent ash as high as 35,000 feet. The Aviation Colour Code was raised to the maximum i.e. Red. Any volcanic ash that rises above 20,00 feet can be dangerous to aircrafts. The eruption had lasted close to 55 minutes.
Vanuatu (September, 2017): Seismic and volcanic activity is not new to the South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu as it is located on the eruptive Ring of Fire. The Guardian reported that Vanuatu was rated the most at-risk country in the world in a 2016 United Nations study. A massive evacuation exercise began in September, 2017 when Vanuatu PM Charlot Salwai ordered authorities to evacuate the entire island of Ambae owing to the threat of a massive eruption. The volcano erupted ash, lava and stones but gradually stabilised later.
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