Tavurvur active again

National, Normal

The National, Thursday July 18th, 2013

 RESIDENTS of Rabaul town and nearby communities are again experiencing fine ash from Mt Tavurvur (Rabaul caldera).

A situation report from the Rabaul Volcano Observatory said Tavurvur continued to release thin to thick, white to light grey emissions.

The observatory said in many cases the emissions were laden with fine ash and blown to the northwest.

It said as anticipated, few mild to forceful discrete explosions occurred between July 10-14 and produced moderate to thick grey ash clouds. 

The clouds were blown to the northwest, resulting in fine ash fall between Namanula Hill and Malaguna No 1 and downwind areas between Pilapila and Tavui Point. 

Occasional to sub-continuous low to moderate roaring and rumbling noises continued, especially at night.

Close-up observations indicated small incandescent glow at the lava dome vent, associated mainly with strong rapid venting.

Activity at Tavurvur was expected to remain low but the monitored parameters suggested the system was dynamic and the potential for renewed ash in the form of plume emissions was moderate to high. 

The observatory said seismicity was low but small to low frequency earthquakes continued to occur. The events were too small.

Tavurvur is a sub-vent of the Rabaul caldera and lies on the eastern rim of the larger feature. The volcano is well known for its devastating eruptions, especially in 1937 and 1994.

Since then, Tavurvur has been the site of near persistent activity.

The last eruption by Tavurvur was in January which resulted in flights being grounded by Air Niugini.