Eruption at White Island Captured on Video

15 Oct

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BY ERIK KLEMETTI

The unrest at White Island continues, although GNS Science has lowered the aviation threat level from Orange to Yellow. In the past, I’ve written about the potential dangers of the tourist trips that drop off people inside the crater at White Island. Explosions can occur at a restless volcano like this unexpectedly, and with little-to-no escape route, it still strikes me as a disaster waiting to happen. Case in point, check out the video (above) of an explosion on Friday (October 11) night at White Island taken from the webcam positioned within the crater itself. The video is a little dark because, well, it is nighttime, but at around 10 seconds (note: video is sped up by 5 times), you can see an explosion occur that quickly inundates the camera. The brief flashes of light are volcanic lightning, which supports the idea that the eruption was mostly older material fragmenting in a phreatic (steam-driven) explosion. Tourists get right into that crater, so if this explosion occurred during the day when tours were happening, there would have likely been severe injuries if not something worse.

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