Vanuatu Volcano Alert Bulletin n°11 – Abrym Activity (24 December 2018)


16°15’00”S 168°07’00”E Summit Elevation 4377ft (1334m)
Current Vanuatu Volcano Alert Level: ** Level 3**

Eruptive activity at Ambrym is continuing in the minor eruption state. The Volcanic Alert Level remains at Level 3.

The volcanic eruption at Ambrym is continuing in the minor eruption. The Danger Zone for life safety remains at the Danger Zone B which is about 2 km around Benbow and 4 km around Marum craters (including Maben-Mbwelesu, Niri-Mbwelesu and Mbwelesu) **(See Safety Map below).The additional area of risk is within 3 km from major cracks in the South East of Ambrym **.

Though people are not feeling strong earthquakes compare to the past few days, current observations and analysis of seismic data recorded from the monitoring network confirm an ongoing seismicity. This is related to the current volcano eruption. This seismicity may continue to affect the existing cracks, especially in the South East Ambrym area. Latest satellite imagery analysis confirm a remarquable land deformation on Ambrym island, therefore people from Ambrym and neighboring islands may continue to expect earthquakes.

The Alert Level for Ambrym volcano has been at the Level 2 since 7 December 2017. The current activity show that Ambrym volcano is undergoing a small scale eruption. This is consistent with the Alert Level 3 activity. Level 3 indicates _‘Minor eruption; Danger is now at 2 km around Benbow and 4 km around Marum with areas exposed to prevailing winds and in major cracked areas in the south eastern part of Ambrym’ _. The possibility that the Ambrym volcano activity escalate to the level of moderate eruption (Level 4) is low for now.

Ambrym volcano is a very active volcano in Vanuatu with large caldera of 12 km in diameter and 2 active craters Marum and Benbow. The volcano has been active during historical time at both summit and flank vents, producing moderate explosive eruptions and lava flows that have reached the coast. The larger events include eruptions in 1820, 1894, 1913 or 1929. Over the last seventy years, there are no extra-caldera eruptions. The eruption of 1988 and 2015 are focused in the caldera.

All tourism agencies, local autorithies, people of Ambrym and the general public are reminded not to access the Danger Zone B which is about 2 km radius from Benbow and 4 km from Marum. In this area volcanic ashes and gases may be unbearable. Moreover, communities from South East Ambrym are advised not to access 3 km radius from major cracks which are vulnerable to possible flank eruptions. See the Ambrym Volcano Advice Key Message at the website… **
**Villages of Ambrym may experience impacts of ashes and gases and acid rains, especially those exposed to prevailing trade winds.

The Vanuatu Meteorology and Geohazards Department continues to closely monitor this volcano activity. More information will be provided as soon as necessary.