Global Volcanism Program | Image GVP-00828
Vegetation in the foreground and on the western tip of Lonthur Island in the background was destroyed and scorched by a directed blast produced by temporary deflection of the vertical plinian eruption column on May 9, 1988. Witnesses reported that at 11:30 am "the entire eruption column bent sidways towards the south," probably as a result of slumping of the uphill slope onto the vent. About 2 cm of tephra was deposited on Lonthur Island, but the village of Lonthur (left) was spared.
Photo by Tom Casadevall, 1988 (U.S. Geological Survey).