Monday Musings: Marianas eruption, Yasur disruptions and the Guatemalan double whammy
Quick news on Memorial Day (in the US at least):
Ash soaked by rain from Tropical Storm Agatha on the roofs of homes in Guatemala after the late May eruption of Pacaya.
- Sixteen scientists were evacuated from islands in the northern Marianas due to the eruption of the unnamed submarine volcano south of Sarigan Island. The eruption is continuing to be monitored closely by the USGS and National Weather Service as the plume – which is most steam with minor ash – could disrupt air traffic in/around Saipan. The latest USGS CNMI update:
- Yasur in Vanuatu has experienced some increased activity, prompting warnings about disruptions of air traffic in the South Pacific. Only minor disruptions to/from New Caledonia are expected as the ash plume only reaches 1.8 km (6,000 feet), but right now when it comes to volcanoes, aviation is the only thing on their minds. No evacuations of local villagers near the volcano have been issued due to the current eruptive activity at Yasur.
- Updating the news on the eruption of Pacaya and the arrival of Tropical Storm Agatha to Guatemala, the country has asked for international aid to recover from the duo of natural disasters. Severe flooding and landslides have occurred across much of the middle of Central America – and in Guatemala, ash-laden roofs have collapsed due to the weight of the ash and water mix. Pacaya is still erupting, adding more ash to the mess – with 14 people confirmed dead and over 50 missing.
Seismicity at a single nearby station on Sarigan Island declined soon after the eruption of a large steam and ash cloud from a submarine vent 11 km (7 miles) south of Sarigan Volcano early yesterday. Satellite images show no sign of ongoing activity. An EMO observer aboard an overflight yesterday reported a large area of debris floating in the sea south of the island, and a stationary area of discoloration in the water, presumably above the vent. The crew on Sarigan reported passage of a small wave (less than 0.5 m) following onset of the eruption yesterday.
UPDATE 5/31/2010 3:30 PM EDT: A few more details on the eruption from CNN.