Authorities in Vanuatu can increase the danger zone around volcanoes on Ambrym if the drastic change in their activity continues.
Recently the Ambrym Volcanic Alert Level was raised from Level 2 to Level 3 by the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-hazards Department.
At this Alert Level, the volcanic activity is likely to increase to a minor eruptive activity or decrease to a simple level of unrest at any time from any of the active craters of Benbow and Marum (including Maben-Mbwelesu, Niri-Mbwelesu and Mbwelesu). The area of risk remains in the caldera. Danger Zone A and B at Ambrym volcano are closed.
“The Ambrym volcanoes history of flank eruptions make them particularly dangerous and very unpredictable,” said Eslin Bule, manager of the Geo-hazards Department, speaking to RNZ.
“The increase was due to a building up of activity inside the volcano conduit. And this is noted since Friday last week until, so we watched this closely and it didn’t change so we raised the alert level. Because the data that we are seeing is showing that inside the volcano conduit there is a building up of the system.
“Ambrym volcano has a history of flank eruptions. So we want to closely monitor this and especially monitor the areas where past eruptions occurred on the flanks. So the activity is not only focused on the main craters,” Eslin Bule said.
There is a chance to have a minor eruption, she noted, adding that since the beginning of the month it didn’t stop to gradually increase.