Heavy ash emissions following intense explosion at Yasur volcano, Vanuatu

yasur volcano eruption september 12 2023

Vanuatu’s Yasur volcano experienced increased activity on September 12, 2023, with intense explosions and abundant ash emissions. The Alert Level remains at 2 of 4.

On Tuesday, September 12, the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department (VMGD) reported a significant ash cloud emission from the volcano, which began around 14:00 local time and lasted until 17:00 LT. Winds carried the ash in the southeast direction, impacting the Whitesands area. Residents in this region were advised to anticipate the impact of ash and volcanic gases.

In addition to these explosive events, the volcano continues to produce small to moderate near-frequent strombolian eruptions. These eruptions eject lava bombs that land within the crater confines. Alongside these eruptions, there are constant passive emissions of steam and gas, a phenomenon referred to as “venting.”

yasur volcano eruption september 12 2023 bg
Image credit: VMGD. Acquired on September 12, 2023

On August 31, VMGD reported that activity at Yasur continues at a high level of “major unrest,” as defined by the Alert Level 2 status (the middle level on a scale of 0 – 4).

“Recent satellite observations indicated an increase in steam, gas, and ash emissions from the summit crater. Explosions continued, with some ejecting bombs that landed back in and around the crater. The public was reminded not to enter the restricted area within 600 m (2 000 feet) around the boundaries of the Permanent Exclusion Zone, defined by Danger Zone A on the hazard map.”

References:

1 Yasur volcano activity update – VMGD – September 13, 2023

2 Global Volcanism Program, 2023. Report on Yasur (Vanuatu) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 30 August-5 September 2023. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey

Featured image credit: VMGD

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