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A relatively large explosive eruption occurred at the volcano yesterday, sending an ash plume to estimated 11 km (34,000 ft) altitude, the Darwin VAAC reported. The ash plume was drifting west over mainland Papua New Guinea and rapidly dissipated.
The Aviation Color Code has been raised from Orange to Red.
The eruption was likely one of the volcano’s frequent paroxysms involving tall lava fountains from the summit crater with associated lava flows and/or pyroclastic flows covering parts of the northeastern flanks. Thermal emissions from the volcano have been elevated recently, suggesting that there is abundant fresh lava arriving in the summit area.
There are no reports of injuries or fatalities.
Similar ash eruptions have been occurring in the past weeks, most notably on 24 Aug and 23 Sep. On the 24 Aug eruption, an explosive eruption produced a similar ash plume to approx. 15 km (50,000 feet) a.s.l. and lava flows that forced 2000 inhabitants of the small island to flee.
According to a newspaper article, “islanders reported ash and other debris from the volcano was so thick that sunlight was totally blocked for a few hours.”
Courtesy of volcanodiscovery.com
The Icelandic Meteorological Office has issued Yellow Weather Alerts, warning of severe gale in South Iceland and snowstorm in North Iceland today Wednesday and tomorrow Thursday. Travelers should make appropriate revisions to their travel plans.
Gale or severe gale, with hazardous wind gusts and localized winds near steep mountains in South Iceland can pose danger to travelers driving cars susceptible to wind. We have already seen one RV blown off the road in the season’s winter storms.
Meanwhile a snowstorm is headed for North Iceland. Gale force winds, heavy snowfall and blowing snow can create whiteout conditions while ice and the snow will reduce traction, making roads dangerously slippery. Stronger localized winds can create hazardous conditions for vehicles susceptible to wind.
The weather alert for South Iceland, including the entire South Coast is in effect from 15:00 (3 pm) today, Wednesday September 3, until 23:00 (10 pm), and for South East Iceland, from the village of Vík to the town of Höfn east of Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon from 17:00 (5 pm) today until 01:00 (1 am).
Travelers should prepare for gale or severe gale with sustained wind speed of 15-25 m/s (33.5-56 mph). Localized winds, especially near steep mountains, can reach 35 m/s (78 mph). Such winds can be hazardous to vehicles that are susceptible to wind.
Snowstorm alerts for the northern part are in effect for the Westfjords from 22:00 (10 pm) tonight until 14:00 (2 pm) tomorrow, Thursday September 4, for North East Iceland from midnight until 1:00 in Friday morning, and for North West Iceland from 4:00 (4 am) until 22:00 (10 pm) tomorrow evening. A northeasterly severe gale and localized winds which can reach hurricane force (35 m/s), with snowfall, sleet and rain. Winter driving conditions on roads at higher elevations
Note that ICE-SAR has advised people to postpone travel
ICE-SAR has warned travelers that due to the snowstorm there will be very difficult or no travel conditions in all of Iceland north of Borgarnes town in West Iceland and Egilsstaðir in East Iceland, while there are difficult or no travel conditions in South Iceland from Selfoss eastward. The only part of Iceland which seems to be spared the full force of the storm is the South-West, including the Capital Region and Reykjanes peninsula.
Courtesy of icelandmag.is