Tag Archives: eruption

Toll rises to 20 from New Zealand volcano eruption as two declared dead

Toll rises to 20 from New Zealand volcano eruption as two declared deadThe death toll rose to 20 on Thursday from a volcanic eruption on New Zealand’s White Island last month, as two people still missing were officially confirmed dead. The two individuals were Hayden Marshall-Inman of New Zealand and Winona Langford of Australia, police said. “The chief coroner has ruled that both Winona and Hayden died on White Island,” John Tims, a deputy police commissioner, said in a statement.



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AP Photos: Taal volcano emits ash, threatening more eruption

AP Photos: Taal volcano emits ash, threatening more eruptionThe Taal volcano near the Philippine capital emitted more ash clouds on Saturday, posing the threat of another eruption. The ash and steam explosions have gotten weaker after seven days of eruption. The volcano in Batangas province, about 65 kilometers (40 miles) south of the capital, Manila, has remained at alert level 4, the second-highest warning, indicating a hazardous explosive eruption is possible in hours or days.



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Was the Taal Volcano eruption large enough to influence the climate?

Was the Taal Volcano eruption large enough to influence the climate?The Taal volcano roared to life last weekend for the first time in more than 40 years, sending a massive plume of volcanic ash towering over the Philippines.This was the first time that Taal has erupted since 1977, an event that marked the end of an active period for the volcano that had begun in 1965. Taal did show signs of unrest periodically throughout the 1990s, but it did not erupt during that period, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.The eruption, which began on Jan. 12, 2020, has forced more than 125,000 people to evacuate the Philippine province of Batangas, where the volcano is located. A state of calamity has been declared for the zone surrounding the volcano, according to The Associated Press. People watch as Taal Volcano erupts Sunday Jan. 12, 2020, in Tagaytay, Cavite province, outside Manila, Philippines (AP Photo/Aaron Favila) During the height of the eruption, a large plume of searing hot volcanic ash blossomed approximately 50,000 feet, about 9.5 miles, into the atmosphere, with some materials making it into the stratosphere, according to observations from NASA. The eruption was accompanied by incredible displays of volcanic lightning, which made for breathtaking video footage, fountains of scalding lava and more than 400 earthquakes.The aftermath of the eruption had the country's president, Rodrigo Duterte, using no uncertain terms to describe the impact on the surrounding communities."It is now a no man's land," Duterte declared, according to Al Jazeera. "It's like heaven and earth fell on it."The fallout downwind of the eruption has blanketed areas dozens of miles away from the volcano itself, including Metro Manila, located about 101 km (63 miles) north of the eruption."Ash fallout to the ground can pose significant disruption and damage to buildings, transportation, water and wastewater, power supply, communications equipment, agriculture, and primary production leading to potentially substantial societal impacts and costs, even at thicknesses of only a few millimeters or inches," the USGS explains on its volcano hazards website. "Additionally, fine-grained ash, when ingested can cause health impacts to humans and animals. "The deteriorating air quality due to the ash has caused at least six people to be sent to a hospital in Tagaytay City in Cavite due to respiratory ailments, The Associated Press reported. One death has also been reported after a vehicle crashed on a slippery, ash-covered road.The abundance of ash in the atmosphere surrounding Taal snarled air traffic, causing more than 600 flights across the region to be canceled. If the fine volcanic ash enters the engines of an airplane, it can have disastrous results, endangering the lives of all those aboard the flight."Volcanoes do affect the weather, and some major ones affect the climate if you define climate as anything beyond a year or two," Dr. Joel Myers, Founder, President and Chairman of AccuWeather, said.In extremely powerful volcanic eruptions, the ash and aerosols released in the eruption can pass through the troposphere, the lowest layer of Earth's atmosphere, and penetrate into the stratosphere, the second layer of the atmosphere. If enough of the ash and other pollutants released in the eruption make it into the stratosphere, they can influence the climate around the globe. The boundary between the troposphere and stratosphere is about 6 miles (10 km) above the ground, a little higher than where commercial jets typically fly."The most significant climate impacts from volcanic injections into the stratosphere come from the conversion of sulfur dioxide to sulfuric acid, which condenses rapidly in the stratosphere to form fine sulfate aerosols," the USGS explained.These aerosols high in the atmosphere reflect light from the sun back into space, resulting in a cooling effect in Earth's lower atmosphere."There is no question that very large volcanic eruptions can inject significant amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere," scientists at the USGS say, but they also note that "the carbon dioxide released in contemporary volcanic eruptions has never caused detectable global warming of the atmosphere."Significant volcanic eruptions in the tropics can also have more of an influence on the global climate than those closer to the poles."Because of atmospheric circulation patterns, eruptions in the tropics can have an effect on the climate in both hemispheres while eruptions at mid or high latitudes only have an impact the hemisphere they are within," the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research explained. The time-series animation above shows the growth and spread of the volcanic plume from January 12-13, as observed by Japan's Himawari-8 satellite. (NOAA) The most powerful volcanic eruption in recorded history directly influenced temperatures around the globe for years and was responsible for what became known as the ‘Year Without a Summer.'"One of the most dramatic examples" of this phenomenon over the last few 100 years was the eruption of Mount Tambora in 1815, Myers said. That eruption "caused a few years of cold weather, some of it extraordinary," he explained. "This includes 1816, the Year Without a Summer, when frost occurred in New England in every month of the year – affecting crops and on one July day when snow flurries were reported in Long Island Sound."AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Kottlowski said that scientists are also unsure that the Tambora eruption was the sole factor behind the Year Without a Summer. Kottlowski, who is also AccuWeather's chief hurricane expert, said, "There are potentially other factors that couldn't be measured at the time or weren't understood at the time that could've been contributing factors to the unusual weather in the Northeast that year. "A more recent example of a volcano having a direct correlation with a decrease in the global temperature took place in the early 1990s following the cataclysmic eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines.The eruption of Mount Pinatubo was more powerful than that of Mount St. Helens, sending an enormous plume of volcanic ash and aerosols as high as 28 miles (40 km)."Nearly 20 million tons of sulfur dioxide were injected into the stratosphere in Pinatubo's 1991 eruptions, and dispersal of this gas cloud around the world caused global temperatures to drop temporarily (1991 through 1993) by about 1°F (0.5°C)," according to the USGS.Pinatubo's eruption was orders of magnitude larger than that of Taal's eruption earlier this year, so any impacts on the global climate through the balance of 2020 and into 2021 from the eruption are likely to be minimal or negligible.However, if the early January eruption of Taal is followed up by a series of larger eruptions that disperse large quantities of aerosols into the stratosphere, then the probability of the volcano influencing the global climate would increase.Taal has spewed smaller ash and steam explosions throughout the week, and as of Friday, it was still under alert for a hazardous eruption, The Associated Press reported. Officials have warned that "life-threatening" subsequent eruptions remain a real possibility.



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An American Citizen Died After Being Injured in the Deadly Volcanic Eruption in New Zealand

An American Citizen Died After Being Injured in the Deadly Volcanic Eruption in New ZealandThe latest victim is one of at least 17 casualties from the Dec. 9 volcanic eruption



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New Zealand suspends search for remaining two bodies believed to be on the island where a surprise volcano eruption killed 19

New Zealand suspends search for remaining two bodies believed to be on the island where a surprise volcano eruption killed 19Police on Tuesday called off a search for two missing people presumed dead after one of New Zealand's most active volcanoes erupted earlier this month.



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World's tallest geyser breaks eruption record, stunning Yellowstone visitors, scientists

World's tallest geyser breaks eruption record, stunning Yellowstone visitors, scientistsSteamboat Geyser in Yellowstone National Park blew past its yearly eruption record in 2019, shooting up water 47 times, indicating an active period.



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'Excitement turned into horror': New cruise details emerge after New Zealand volcano eruption

'Excitement turned into horror': New cruise details emerge after New Zealand volcano eruptionRoyal Caribbean is suspending tours of active volcanoes after the Dec. 9 New Zealand volcano eruption on White Island.



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Death toll from New Zealand volcano eruption rises to 19

Death toll from New Zealand volcano eruption rises to 19The death toll from a volcanic eruption in New Zealand has risen to 19 after police said Monday another person died at an Auckland hospital overnight. There were 47 people visiting the tourist destination of White Island when the volcano erupted Dec. 9, killing 13 people initially and leaving more than two dozen others hospitalized with severe burns. The latest victim is the sixth person to die in hospitals in New Zealand and Australia in the two weeks since the eruption.



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Police: 2 missing bodies in volcano eruption may be at sea

Police: 2 missing bodies in volcano eruption may be at seaNew Zealand authorities said Wednesday they believe the two bodies that remain missing after a deadly volcanic eruption last week have been washed out to sea and may never be found. Eighteen people died and others suffered severe burns after the Dec. 9 eruption at White Island. Police Deputy Commissioner Mike Clement said he believes a storm soon after the eruption washed the bodies down a stream and into the Pacific Ocean.



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New Zealand eruption death toll rises to 18

New Zealand eruption death toll rises to 18The death toll from New Zealand’s White Island volcano eruption rose to 18 Sunday, including two people whose bodies have not been recovered, police said. Deputy police commissioner Mike Clement said there was “every chance” the bodies had been washed into the sea from the stream where they were last seen Monday. The death toll now stands at 18 after an Australian victim who had been repatriated to Sydney died in hospital almost a week after the deadly eruption.



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