White Island eruption: alert lowered, scientists monitor activity

By | April 28, 2016

The White Island volcano had a minor eruption yesterday, between 9:30pm and 11pm.

According to reports, the eruption came with an moderately elevated seismic activity, but the levels had since returned back to normal (at around 11pm). This is the volcano’s first eruption since 2013.

“There’s been a bit of excitement on White Island! A minor eruption last night…normally White Island does lady volcano farts (or “Windy Pops”), but last night she did a ripper loud one!”, the Waikato Civil Defense wrote in a light-hearted Facebook post which includes a comic illustration.

“She has since calmed down, and the science guys at GeoNet are keeping a close eye on her “windy pops” and will let us know if they look like they’re going to get raucous,” the post added.

The volcanic level alert has already been lowered from three to two, said a report by the New Zealand Herald. This means that while the volcano no longer erupting, it’s in a state of moderate to heightened unrest.

Weeks before the eruption, GeoNet scientists had notice that there was a reduction in water levels of its crater lake .

GeoNet scientists had noticed a reduction in water levels of the volcano’s crater lake during the past couple of weeks so they were aware something was going on.

These eruptions cannot be predicted, so scientists are closely monitoring. “It can change at any time,” said GeoNet volcanologist Agnes Mazot.