Volcanic cone grows in Vanuatu


Photographic evidence from Vanuatu’s Ambae volcano over the past week confirms a volcanic cone island has been built in the lake on Manaro Voui.

The volcanic crater is growing in height and size and the style of the activity has changed with more frequent explosions, volcanic ash and gas clouds.

Vanuatu’s Geohazards Department says in its latest alert, issued on Wednesday, that despite this the current alert level remains at level 3 with the eruptions likely to continue in this state.

The Department said some explosions would appear more energetic to the local population from Ambae, who may feel air waves from the larger ones.

They warned people from Ambae and neighbouring islands may also continue to hear some explosions, view volcanic ash and gas columns, and see glows over the mountain at night.

The latest alert said this current eruption was now becoming similar to the 1870 eruption with cone building in the summit caldera.

There was a restricted area of risk of three kilometers from the active vent in Lake Voui.

The volcano became significantly more active on 22 September when the alert level was raised to level 4 leading to the mass evacuation of the islands’ population.

The level dropped back down to level 3 on 6 October and most residents have now returned but have had to contend with damaged crops and water supplies affected by the continuing ashfall.