Vanuatu Volcano Alert Bulletin n°9 - Lopevi Activity (31 October 2019)

Report
from Government of Vanuatu
Published on 31 Oct 2019 View Original

LOPEVI VOLCANO

16°30’23”S 169°20’18”E Summit 4635ft (1413m)

Current Vanuatu Volcano Alert Level: Level 2

Lopevi volcano is continuing in the major unrest state. The Volcanic Alert Level remains at Level 2.

Lopevi volcano activity is unstable in the major unrest state. With the current state, the volcanic activity is likely to increase at any time but it could also remain at the same level for a longtime. The Danger Zone for life safety is limited to on the island.

Current observations and analysis of seismic record from the monitoring network confirm an ongoing unstable volcanic activity in the current high level of unrest. The activity continues to occur in the active craters near the summit crater. The volcano activity consists of continuous emission of steam plume.

In the past, small or short-lived eruptions have followed volcanic unrest at Lopevi. The chance for an eruptive phase to follow the current volcanic unrest, like in January 2017, is likely.

The Lopevi Alert Level (VAL) has been at Level 2 since 23 September 2017. The current observations are consistent with the Alert Level 2 activity. Level 2 indicates "Major Unrest;Major Unrest; Danger Zone remains around the Lopevi island" .

Lopevi is one of several frequently active volcanoes in Vanuatu. Ash producing eruptions can occurred every 3-10 years. The volcano has been active during historical time at both summit and flank vents, producing moderate explosive eruptions and lava flows that reached the coast. Historical eruptions date back to the mid-19th century. The island was evacuated following major eruptions in 1939 and 1960. Only a family tries to live on this island these days.

This is a reminder that all visitors to Lopevi may be affected by the volcanic unrest. It’s very important that authorities, communities, villages from the islands of Paama and Epi take this information into consideration.

The Vanuatu Meteorology and Geohazards Department will continue to closely monitor this volcanic activity. More information will be provided as available.

For further information, please contact Geohazards Division at the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geohazards Department at geohazards@meteo.gov.vu or 24686 .