Vanuatu

Vanuatu Volcano Alert Bulletin n°7 - Gaua Activity (July 5th 2022)

GAUA VOLCANO
14°16’0”S 167°30’0”E Summit 2615ft (797m)
Current Vanuatu Volcano Alert Level: Level 2

Gaua volcano has now increased in the high level of the major unrest state. The Volcanic Alert Level remains at Level 2.

The Gaua volcano activity has now increased in the high level of the major unrest state, consistent with the Volcanic Alert Level 2. New analyses suggest that this volcano activity is likely to continue at this same level of major unrest (Level 2) or increase to the minor eruption state (Level 3). Volcanic hazards remain on the Gaua volcanic cone (e.g. volcanic gases). The danger zone for life safety is limited on the volcanic cone.

Ground observations and satellite data confirmed that the current activity consists of ongoing volcanic steam cloud which may contain volcanic gases at Mt. Garet. This morning a significant thick ash plume emitted from the vent after a strong heavy sound of explosion that was heard by villagers, especially in Naveto village of North-East Gaua. Visitors will continue to smell volcanic gas while approaching the volcanic cone.

The Volcanic Alert Level (VAL) for Gaua volcano has been at Level 2 since 31st January 2018. The current observations are consistent with the activity of the Volcanic Alert Level 2. Level 2 indicates ‘Major level of unrest ; Danger zone is on the volcanic cone’. With this current volcanic activity, it is a useful reminder that eruptions can occur with little or no warning.

Gaua volcano is one of the active volcano in Vanuatu. Historically, the formation of Mount Garet active cone of and other small cinder cones in the SW part of the caldera has left a crescent-shaped caldera lake, Lake Letas. The symmetrical, flat-topped Mount Garet cone is topped by three active craters.

Advice to all tourism agencies, local authorities, people of Gaua and the general public with this current activity, the danger area remains at the volcanic cone. The level of risk for visitors accessing areas around Mt. Garet is high. Villages exposed to wind direction may expect volcanic gases and/or ash falls impact and other volcanic risk could occur at any time in such major unrest state.

The Vanuatu Meteorology and Geohazards Department will continue to closely monitor this volcano activity. More information will be provided when necessary.

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