Volcano news Updates – Gamalama eruption (10 people missing), Fogo, Sinabung, Bardarbunga

Last update: December 18, 2014 at 8:43 pm by By

On this page : Fogo (Cabo Verde), Bardarbunga (Iceland), Kilauea (Hawaii), Stromboli (Sicily),  Aso (Japan), Popocatepetl (Mexico),  Reventador (Ecuador), Chiles and Cerro Negro (Colombia), Erebus (Antarctica), Pavlof (Alaska), Sinabung (Indonesia), Mayon (Philippines), Tokashidake (Japan)

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This report is compiled out of many information sources.
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Kilauea, Hawaii December 18, 20:06 UTC (Janine)
HVO reports that the active flow front is now 1.3 km (0.8 miles) from the Pahoa Village Road and Highway 130 intersection, after advancing approximately 150 m (165 yards) since yesterday. The flow consists of two closely-spaced, narrow lava flow fingers that are heading in the same direction, and may be slowing. HVO staff have put in place 2 time lapse web cams near the Pahoa Marketplace, one focusing on the market, and the other up slope. The current webcam images are below.

HVO webcam view of the Marketplace taken Dec 18, 09:54 local time.

HVO webcam view of the Marketplace taken Dec 18, 09:54 local time.

HVO webcam view of up slope of the Marketplace taken Dec 18, 09:54 local time.

HVO webcam view of up slope of the Marketplace taken Dec 18, 09:54 local time.

Gamalama, Ternate, Indonesia erupts – December 18, 18:09 UTC
Volcan Gamalama had 2 ash explosions a little earlier. 10 people did notice the authorities that they would climb the volcano. Since then no news. Depending on their climbing route and level at the time of the explosions, their situation maybe very harmful.  We can compare this ash explosion best with the many people killed on the Ontake volcano in Japan. Lets hope that everyone will reach a safe location asap. We will keep you updated about their faith.
Gamalama is currently in Waspada or level II on a IV scale alert since October 9 2014

Image courtesy and copyright Okezone Indonesia

Image courtesy and copyright Okezone Indonesia

Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 20.02.16 Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 20.06.17

Volcano activity of the world (last 7 days) – December 18, 15:00 UTC (Armand)
Bulletin collected and published by the Smithsonian Institute

Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 18.05.41Asosan  | Kyushu (Japan)
JMA reported that, based on seismicity and infrasound data, the eruption from Asosan’s Nakadake Crater that began on 25 November continued during 8-12 December; inclement weather often prevented observations of the crater. A webcam recorded tephra being carried by high winds and deposited in an area 1 km W. During a field survey on 10 December volcanologists observed 20-cm-wide blocks near the crater and 5-10-cm-wide blocks within 1.2 km SW of the crater. Plumes rose 600 m above the crater and incandescent material was sometimes ejected onto the crater rim. During 12-15 December the plume rose 1 km above the crater rim. Ashfall was reported E in Hanoi Aso (Kumamoto Region). Incandescent material was occasionally ejected onto the crater rim. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-5).

Chirinkotan  | Kuril Islands (Russia)
SVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Chirinkotan was detecetd in satellite images during 10-11 and 13-14 December. Cloud cover obscured views on the other days during 8-15 December. The Aviation Color Code remained at Yellow.

Fogo  | Cape Verde  | 14.95°N, 24.35°W  | Elevation 2829 m
According to news articles the rate of lava output from Fogo’s Pico cone inside the Cha Caldera had decreased on 9 December and remained low through 14 December. Gas and ash emissions also decreased and were almost absent by 14 December. Even though output was low, the remaining buildings in the town of Bangaeira were overtaken by lava.

Kusatsu-Shiranesan  | Honshu (Japan)  | 36.618°N, 138.528°E  | Elevation 2165 m
During 5-12 December JMA maintained Alert Level 2 for Kusatsu-Shiranesan due to continued unrest. GPS measurements indicated inflation, although thermal anomalies had been absent since July. Volcanic earthquakes continued at a low level and tremor was absent.

Lopevi  | Vanuatu  | 16.507°S, 168.346°E  | Elevation 1413 m
On 15 December the Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory reported that, based on observations and analyses in early December, activity at Lopevi had increased dramatically over a short time period. The Alert Level was raised to 1 (on a scale of 0-4), and access to the island was prohibited.

Moyorodake [Medvezhia]  | Iturup (Etorofu) Island (Japan/Russia)  | 45.389°N, 148.838°E  | Elevation 1124 m
On 12 December SVERT reported that activity at Kudriavy, a stratovolcano of the Medvezhia volcanic complex, had not increased since 1 December. The Aviation Color Code was lowered to Green.

Nevado del Ruiz  | Colombia  | 4.895°N, 75.322°W  | Elevation 5321 m
Servicio Geológico Colombiano’s (SGC) Observatorio Vulcanológico and Sismológico de Manizales reported that on 15 December at 0738 seismic signals indicating ash emissions were detected, and then confirmed, by a local webcam and residents. Based on a pilot observation, the Washington VAAC noted that an ash plume drifted almost 20 km S that same day. The Alert Level remained at III (Yellow; “changes in the behavior of volcanic activity”).
Source: Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC)

Sinarka  | Shiashkotan Island (Russia)  | 48.875°N, 154.175°E  | Elevation 934 m
SVERT reported that on 8 December satellite images of Sinarka showed diffuse steam-and-gas emissions. Cloud cover obscured views on the other days during 9-15 December. The Aviation Color Code was raised to Yellow.

Villarrica  | Chile
According to Projecto Observación Visual Volcán Villarrica (POVI), satellite images of Villarrica acquired on 10 and 26 November and 3 December revealed a progressively more intense thermal anomaly. Photographs on 9 December showed particulates suspended above the crater rim, and the next day a thin veneer of ash covered the NW edge of the crater rim. Detonations from the crater were heard during 10-12 December. On 13 December observers noted that the intense blasts of gas from the previous few days had removed some ash deposits from the inner crater wall leaving lighter colored streaks.

Zhupanovsky  | Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)
KVERT reported that an eruption at Zhupanovsky continued during 5-12 December. Satellite images detected a thermal anomaly on 9 December; the volcano was either quiet or obscured by clouds on the other days. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Fogo, Cabo Verde December 18, 17:03 UTC (Armand)
New lava flow map – Click here to be linked to the “Fogo only” page

Sinabung, Sumatra, Indonesia - December 18, 11:58 UTC (Armand)
If you love pyroclastic flows and explosive volcanoes, book a ticket to Indonesia and have the time of your life (at least when you respect the safety parameters)

Bardarbunga, Iceland – December 18, 11:58 UTC (Armand)

Bardarbunga, Iceland – December 17, 14:33 UTC (Armand)
A strong M5.3 earthquake at the Bardarbunga rim was felt in large parts of Iceland. The earthquake is however nothing special and is in line with earlier near M5 quakes, this mainly because of the depth of the hypocenter at 6.9 km.

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Bardarbunga, Iceland – December 17, 12:41 UTC (Armand)
Gradual fading of seismic activity at Bárðarbunga and the dyke intrusion (since the events of 16th August 2014)
The earthquake sequence around Bárðarbunga in 2014 continues at high levels, but has shown clear signs of gradual fading during the last weeks and months. This slow decay of activity is reflected by lower magnitudes and numbers of earthquakes, seen as a general decrease of seismic moment release.
The figure shows the decrease of seismic moment release and numbers of events with respect to time between the onset of the earthquake swarm on 16 August (week 0) and today, 16 December (week 18). The cumulative moment and numbers of events are calculated for each week; i.e. for each week the earthquakes of certain magnitude ranges were counted and the moment of all earthquakes was simply summed up.
Read the full article here

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Ruapehu, New Zealand – December 17 12:37 UTC (Armand)

Asosan, Japan – December 17 12:37 UTC (Armand)

Tokashidake, Hokkaido, Japan – December 16 23:31 UTC (Armand)
JMA increased the volcanic alert from 1 to 2 on a scale of 5 (Do not approach the crater) due to increased seismicity
Summary : Tokachidake volcano consists of a group of dominantly andesitic stratovolcanoes and lava domes arranged on a NE-SW line above a plateau of welded Pleistocene tuffs in central Hokkaido. Numerous explosion craters and cinder cones are located on the upper flanks of the small stratovolcanoes, with the youngest Holocene centers located at the NW end of the chain. Frequent historical eruptions, consisting mostly of mild-to-moderate phreatic explosions, have been recorded since the mid-19th century. Two larger eruptions occurred in 1926 and 1962. Partial cone collapse of the western flank during the 1926 eruption produced a disastrous debris avalanche and mudflow. (source: Smithsonian Institute)

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Photo courtesy of Japan Meteorological Agency, 1988.

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Science – Behavior of different type of lava in contact with snow – December 16 (Armand)
Volcano observations reveal jets of steam shooting out of the ice and lava moving like a giant caterpillar – although the lava type can make a big difference

For Your Information (Armand)
We have cut a big part of this page, the part from December 5 until December 13. The link to this archived part is or here or at the bottom of the page.

Bardarbunga, Iceland – December 15, 23:34 UTC (Armand)
Report of the Scientific Advisory Board earlier today
* Insubstantial changes have been in the volcanic eruption in Holuhraun over the last few weeks. Indication show that the lava is now mainly flowing inside closed channels.
* Seismic activity in Bardarbunga continues to be strong. The strongest earthquake since noon on Friday, 12. December, was magnitude M5,4 yesterday, 15. December, at 09:37 on the northern rim of the caldera. About 20 earthquakes larger then M4,0 were detected since Friday. In total about 200 earthquakes were detected in Bardarbunga since noon on Friday. A collection of data from the beginning of the seismic activity in Bardarbunga show a steadily decline in the seismic activity and in the number of large earthquakes.
* On Saturday and Sunday, 13. and 14. December, a minor increased seismic activity was detected in the dyke and around the eruption site in Holuhraun. Between 15 and 20 earthquakes were detected each day, all smaller then magnitude M2,0. Since then about 10 earthquakes a day were detected in the dyke, all smaller then magnitude M2,0.
* GPS measurements near northern Vatnajokull glacier show continuing slow subsidence towards Bardarbunga. The rate of the subsidence has slowly decreased.
* Telecommunications with the GPS station in Bardarbunga caldera have not been established yet. Due to bad weather forecast it is unlikely that scientists will be able to travel to Bardarbunga in the next few days. A connection will be established with the GPS station as soon as possible.

2014: The Year in Volcanic Activity (Armand)
40 great pictures of eruptions in 2014. Enjoy them. Due to Copyright reasons we cannot reproduce the photo’s
Read the full article here

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Zhupanovsky, Russia December 06, 09:17 UTC (Janine)
The Tokyo VAAC has released an ash advisory after an ash plume has been reported to be traveling 70 km to the southeast. KVERT reports that moderate activity continues at the volcano.

Shiveluch, Russia December 06, 09:17 UTC (Janine)
KVERT reports the continuation of the lava dome growth with moderate explosions, avalanches, and fumerolic activity. The Tokyo VAAC has released an ash advisory after satellite data shows an ash plume moving up to 109 km to the southeast, accompanying a thermal anomaly at the summit dome.

Sinabung, Indonesia December 06, 08:56 UTC (Janine)
The Badan Geologi has released an updated map of the summit dome with a length of 215 m, and lava lobe which is now 2,947 m long. Between December 8-15 the instability of the lobe and dome has resulted in an average of 184 seismic events per day. In this period 53 pyroclastic flows have been recorded, traveling up to 4,500 m to the south, and a maximum of 1,000 m to the southeast. The current threat is believed to be limited to a radius of 5 km.

Lava lobe and dome measurements. Courtesy of Badan Geologi.

Lava lobe and dome measurements. Courtesy of Badan Geologi.

Kilauea, Hawaii December 16, 08:46 UTC (Janine)
The active lava flow front was last measured to be approximately 1.8 km (1.1 miles) from the Pahoa Marketplace after traveling 0.8 km (0.5 miles) in just under 3 days. No evacuation has yet been ordered but the Marketplace merchants are on evacuation notice.

Map updated on December 15 (Hawaii time). Courtesy of USGS.

Map updated on December 15 (Hawaii time). Courtesy of USGS.


Bardarbunga, Iceland – December 15, 23:34 UTC (Janine)
The Institute of Earth Sciences has released an updated map of the Holuhraun lava field from December 12. The lava field is now 78.6 km² in size. An ESA Sentinel 1 radar image taken the same day shows the cauldrons in the icecap above Bardarbunga volcano that have formed during the eruption.

Updated 12.12.14, courtesy of the Institute of Earth Sciences.

Updated 12.12.14, courtesy of the Institute of Earth Sciences.

ESA Sentinel 1 Radar image of the icecap above Bardarbunga volcano.

ESA Sentinel 1 Radar image of the icecap above Bardarbunga volcano.

Nevado del Ruiz, Colombia December 15, 18:35 UTC (Armand)
Powerful explosion on a timelapse video + a spectogram showing the tremor at the start of the eruption

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Fogo, Cabo Verde December 15, 17:54 UTC (Armand)
Lava front advance has considerably decreased + new map – Click here to be linked to the “Fogo only” page

Fogo, Cabo Verde December 14, 22:01 UTC (Janine)
Photos of damage caused by the lava flow in Portela and Bangaeira from the Asociación Canaria de Volcanología. – Click here to be linked to the “Fogo only” page

Kilauea, Hawaii December 14, 21:45 UTC (Janine)
The lava flow has advanced approximately 274 m (300 yards) east-northeast since yesterday and is now 2.25 km (1.4 miles) upslope of the Highway 130 and Pahoa Village Road intersection. There is no immediate threat to communities. The Hawaii County Civil Defense released the updated map below showing the current position of the new flow front.

Courtesy of the Hawaii Civil Defense, updated at 7:00 am on 12/14/14.

Courtesy of the Hawaii County Civil Defense, updated at 7:00 am on 12/14/14.

Reventador, Ecuador – December 14, 12:18 UTC (Armand)

Sinabung, Sumatra, Indonesia – December 14, 11:39 UTC (Armand)


2013 : July 8 – July 31
2013 : June 24 – July 7
2013 : June 8 – June 23
2013 : May 26 – June 7
2013 : June 8 – August 20
2013 : August 21 – October 27
2013 : October 28 – December 12
2013 : December 13 – January 30
2014 : February 1 – May 20
2014 : May 21 – August 20
2014 : August 21 – August 28 (Bardarbunga volcano Iceland)
2014 : August 29 – September 4 (Bardarbunga and Tavurvur)
2014 : September 5 – September 18 (Bardarbunga and Mayon)
2014 : September 19 – October 6 (Bardarbunga, Mayon, Long Valley and Ontakesan deadly eruption)
2014 : October 7 – November 4 (Bardarbunga, Kilauea, Chiles, Sinabung)
2014 : November 5 – November 22 (Bardarbunga, Long Valley, Colima, Pavlov, Kilauea, etc)
2014 : November 23 – November 28 (Fogo, Aso, Bardarbunga, etc)
2014 : November 29 – December 4 (Fogo, Bardarbunga, Kilauea, etc)
2014 : December 5 – December 13 (too many to describe)


  1. Paul Wyse says:

    Hi, I really like to follow the seismicity of the Nicaraguan volcanoes ( I was born there), but the Ineter website does’t show the output from the Nicaraguan webicorders anymore, or they put them in a different place. Can somebody tell me where they’re finding them?

  2. Tyler Mannison says:

    I have no reason to believe that the earthquakes at Mammoth Mountain, California are volcanic. So far, there’s been no deformation or increased gas readings.

  3. Joahan Smitt says:

    Hi Armand, enjoy your site visit it regularly, I have a question for you from my wife. Yesterday as I opened up the daily volcano report there was a pic of a erupting volcano belching lava and black smoke, to the right was a bolt of lightning way larger than the volcano it self, the rest (to the left) is black as is the right hand site until you look a little close then you see branches in the foreground, she wants to know if this picture was Photo shopped ( she paints and has a better eye than me but I saw the same thing . Can you check, let us know? Thanks.

    • Armand Vervaeck says:

      Hi Joahan, After checking that picture i think you both are right. This is photoshopped (at least the base of the thick lightning bolt). I picked it from Wikipedia as i could not use the material from the science article or better other ones (copyrights you know !). John Seach made some lightning pictures today from the pyroclastic flows at Sinabung volcano, Indonesia (he said he would only publish them when arriving back home in a couple of weeks).

  4. Feele says:

    Any updates on Sinabung ?


  5. wilbert cacafranca says:

    What about the new fault line discovered in cebu city philippines running from the north going to the center of the city , do you think their is a new volcano under our cebu island? how dangerous it is? what is the most probable cause that it exist now? can you detect future eruptions based on previous activities and data? please comment

  6. Tom says:

    The (great) video imo is certainly NOT from the 14-16 Dec parox, but an earlier one – the last one didn’t do this sort of lava fountains from multiple vents..

  7. Roland SEMEESE says:

    New activity seems to be started at ETNA. The weather is fine so we may follow if this eruption will end as a parosysm.

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