Tectonic: New Zealand White Island Volcano Erupts

Tectonic: New Zealand White Island Volcano Erupts

New Zealand’s White Island Volcano, known locally as Whakaari, has erupted with a tragic blast leaving 34 people injured, 8 people missing and 6 confirmed dead. The eruption took place at approximately 2:00PM local time on December 9th 2019.

White Island’s volcano is New Zealand’s most active cone volcano, situated off the northeastern coast of New Zealand’s north island, attracting tourists, geologists and volcanologists from afar. The volcano has been releasing volcanic gasses constantly at least since it was first sighted by Captain James Cook 250 years ago in 1769.

In the past, the volcano has had eruptions of Lava, ash and pyroclastic flows, with the most recent significant eruption having been in 2016. In October 2019, the volcano was raised to a Volcanic Alert level 2, stating that there was increased volcanic activity and indicating that an eruption was more likely to occur.

Further seismic activity in the hours following the eruption included subsequent eruptions, and an earthquake at a magnitude of 5.3 in Gisborne, Northeastern New Zealand in the early hours of December 10th. The island is now on Volcanic Alert level 3, with GeoNet stating that the volcano is in minor eruption, but that the alert level could change without notice.

Of the confirmed fatalities, the injured and the missing people, all were either visiting the island as tourists or operating the tours. Pilot Productions extends it’s deepest sympathies and thoughts to all those affected by the eruption.

More information:

Study Guide: Volcanoes

Read: Captain Cook continues to inspire travel habits

Watch: Volcanoes – Ring of Fire

Watch: Globe Trekker – New Zealand 1

Watch: Globe Trekker – New Zealand 2

Main Image: White Island, New Zealand – Volcano, Thru MyShutter, Flickr Creative Commons

By Sofi Summers

Tectonic: Italian Volcanic Island Of Stromboli is Erupting

Tectonic: Italian Volcanic Island Of Stromboli is Erupting

A volcano has erupted on the Italian island of Stromboli, killing one hiker and injuring a second. Lava streams and rocks have been slowly making their way down the volcano’s slopes following the eruption yesterday afternoon.

WATCH ON DVD: Volcanoes & Extreme Landscapes

Stromboli has a population of around 500, and its volcano is very active with frequent minor eruptions, making for an adrenaline junky’s paradise. As many as 7000 tourists flock to the island every summer to take in its incredible natural beauty, challenging landscape and Italian Island charm.

READ: Fireworks Night: Trekking Mount Stromboli

Yesterday’s eruption is described as a ‘major eruption’ with two major explosive events occurring. Tourist’s and locals alike have described scenes of people fleeing hotels and restaurants and jumping into the sea in a state of panic.

READ: Study Guide: Volcanoes

The Aeolian Islands, where Stromboli is situated, are a volcanic archipelago in the Tyrrhenian Sea, and are listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site for providing “an outstanding record of volcanic island building and destruction, and ongoing volcanic phenomena”. Stromboli has been in a state of almost continuous eruption for the past 2000 years, its eruptions characterised as short and mild blasts of lava and rock and a slow and viscous flow of lava.

WATCH ON DVD: Globe Trekker – Cosica, Sicily & Sardinia where traveller Ian Wright visits the spitting summit of stromboli

 

Main Image: Flrnt, Stromboli, Flickr Creative Commons

By Sofi Pickering