Kadovar eruption potentially explosive: Observatory

The Rabaul Volcanological Observatory (RVO) believes the Kadovar Island eruption in East Sepik Province could become explosive.

In a report to the Department of Mineral Policy and Geohazards Management (DMPGH) secretary, Harry Kore, RVO said this is due to the chemistry of the most recent (pre-historic) cumulodome (high-silica andesite).

“Also due to the steepness of the island, landslides are possible, and together with the explosive nature of the magma, tsunamis may be generated.

“Due to the size of the island, any activity will impact the local population.”

The Observatory reiterated that the risk is high for those on the island while residents on the mainland face a small risk of tsunamis.

“Kadovar apparently became active on the afternoon of the 5th January, 2018. It appears from satellite imagery and aerial photographs that it started with mild vulcanian activity from a vent at the SE (South-East) base of the cumulodome, which occupies the summit’s south eastward breached vent.

“It appears a fissure may be opening just inside of the western wall of the vent’s breach, descending down to at least sea level. We do not have contact with the island for more detailed reports.”

The RVO said at the start of the eruption, the area around the vent had been blanketed for up to 100m from the source. However, the areas affected are likely to have increased since that time.

Kadovar is a volcanic island located about 24km offshore from the northern coast of mainland PNG, in East Sepik Province, and about 21km west of Bam volcano.

“A possible eruption was witnessed by explorers in 1700,” reported RVO.

“No other activity was reported until an outbreak of thermal activity in 1976 and a short period of seismic unrest in 2015. Although it should be noted that the island is very remote and communications difficult, so minor unrest may have gone unreported.”

It is estimated that over 600 residents are on the island.

“Also it has been reported that the East Sepik Govt is preparing to evacuate them,” secretary Kore was told. 

Related articles:

Kadovar eruption: Sleeping volcano awakes http://www.looppng.com/node/71907

Funds being sorted for Kadovar http://www.looppng.com/node/71908

Kadovar situation has worsened: Administrator http://www.looppng.com/node/71932



Carmella Gware
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