Breaking News (+ Photos & Video of eruption) — GNS Science has raised White Island’s Volcanic Alert Level to 2 following a small eruption on Sunday. The aviation level was raised from green to yellow last Thursday and tonight it has been raised to Orange.
The White Island web camera operated by GNS captured a small eruption on Sunday morning at 4:55am from the Crater Lake just days after advising the public of increased activity.
“During the past week there has been an increase in volcanic tremor and volcanic gas levels. The Volcanic Alert Level is now raised to Level 2” says GNS in a statement sent to WeatherWatch.co.nz tonight.
The Aviation Colour Code is changed to Orange.
“Overnight Friday 27th to Saturday 28th July the lake level in the Crater Lake at White Island rose by about 3 m to 5 m. A volcanic earthquake was also recorded indicating an eruption may have occurred. A flow of gas and steam has been present through the lake and from vents near the lake since then. A gas flight on August 1 recorded increases of sulphur gases in the steam and volcanic gas plume” says GNS.
Since early July there have been intermittent periods of volcanic tremor, becoming more continuous since July 28. A particularly stronger episode was recorded overnight August 4- 5, and ended in a volcanic earthquake at 0454h on Sunday.
Examination of the images from the Factory webcam between 0454h and 0457h on 4th August have revealed an eruption from the Crater Lake, nicely lit by the moon (see below).
“These phenomena are not unknown for White Island, but this is the first substantial confirmation that small scale eruptions are now occurring on the island and confirms the risk to visitors has increased”.
White Island is an active volcano and there is always risk when visiting the island.
Video: White Island erupts on Sunday morning
Eruptions can occur at any time with little or no warning. We advise extra caution should be taken, if visiting the island.
GNS Science volcanologists are monitoring the activity and further information will be released as soon as it is available.
What you need to know
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