Report on Langila (Papua New Guinea) — 8 June-14 June 2005
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 8 June-14 June 2005
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2005. Report on Langila (Papua New Guinea). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 8 June-14 June 2005. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
Papua New Guinea
5.525°S, 148.42°E; summit elev. 1330 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
According to the Darwin VAAC, low-level ash plumes emitted from Langila were visible on satellite imagery during 8-13 June. RVO reported to the Darwin VAAC that fluctuating, moderate eruptive activity was expected to continue at the volcano.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) reported that eruptive activity occurred at Langila on 2 June with more ash than normal being emitted from the volcano. Prevailing winds carried most of the initial ashfall to the sea, but lower-level winds redirected the ash back onto the island. About 10,000 people live near the volcano and there were reports of increased cases of respiratory problems and eye irritation. During an aerial inspection of the area on 6 June, IFRC determined that ~3,490 people had been affected by the eruption, mainly in the villages of Aitavala, Masele, Kilenge, Ongaea, Potne, and Sumel, but also to a lesser extent in Vem, Galegale, Tauale, and Laut. Ashfall damaged small food gardens and contaminated some water sources. The provincial government encouraged voluntary evacuation of affected areas.
Geologic Background. Langila, one of the most active volcanoes of New Britain, consists of a group of four small overlapping composite basaltic-andesitic cones on the lower eastern flank of the extinct Talawe volcano. Talawe is the highest volcano in the Cape Gloucester area of NW New Britain. A rectangular, 2.5-km-long crater is breached widely to the SE; Langila volcano was constructed NE of the breached crater of Talawe. An extensive lava field reaches the coast on the north and NE sides of Langila. Frequent mild-to-moderate explosive eruptions, sometimes accompanied by lava flows, have been recorded since the 19th century from three active craters at the summit of Langila. The youngest and smallest crater (no. 3 crater) was formed in 1960 and has a diameter of 150 m.