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Ambae still in minor eruption state

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Eruptive activity at Ambae is continuing in the minor eruption state; the Alert Level for Ambae volcano remains at Level 3.

The volcanic eruption at Ambae is continuing in the minor eruption state and confined to Lake Voui, reports Vanuatu Meteorology and Geohazard Department. New scientific analyses confirm that there is currently no evidence of risk escalation from this activity. As a consequence, the Volcanic Alert Level remains at Level 3. The volcanic eruption is likely to continue in this state. The restricted area of risk is limited within 3 km from the active vent in Lake Voui.

Observations photos confirm that the volcanic cone (island) in Lake Voui has been built, the volcanic crater is growing in height and size and style of activity has changed to more frequent explosions and volcanic ash and gas cloud.

This eruptive activity consists of ongoing explosions, emission of ash columns and gas from the eruptive vents. The activity at Ambae is like what is seen and experienced at Yasur on Tanna Island. Some explosions will appear more energetic to local population from Ambae who may feel air waves from the larger ones. People from Ambae and neighbouring island may continue to hear some explosions, view volcanic ash and gas columns and glows over the mountain at night. A small-scale eruption continues in Lake Voui at Ambae volcano.

The eruption at Ambae started in September, when the Volcanic Alert Level was raised to Level 3. The volcanic activity has built a volcanic cone (island) in Lake Voui. The cone building phase produced the largest explosions and ashfalls. Some parts of the island experienced ashfalls from that phase of the eruption. The eruptions in mid-September 2017 are similar to those in 2005. Past eruptions (1966, 2005, and 2016) have been short lived and only built tuff cones in the lake. The current eruption in November 2017 is tending to become similar to the 1870 eruption with cone building in the summit caldera.