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Report on Awu (Indonesia) — 19 May-25 May 2004


Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
19 May-25 May 2004
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2004. Report on Awu (Indonesia). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 19 May-25 May 2004. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (19 May-25 May 2004)



3.689°N, 125.447°E; summit elev. 1318 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

DVGHM reported a sudden increase in seismicity at Awu beginning on 16 May when 12 volcanic earthquakes were recorded. In addition, tremor was recorded during 1110-1540. Gas plumes rose ~75 m above the crater that were thicker than earlier in the month, but they did not change color or form clumps. On 18 May, six volcanic earthquakes were recorded and tremor continued. The same day DVGHM raised the Alert Level from 1 to 2. According to news reports, on 21 May hundreds of residents of the villages of Manente, Kolongan, Kendahe, and North Tabukan began to flee due to fears of an eruption.

Geological Summary. The massive Gunung Awu stratovolcano occupies the northern end of Great Sangihe Island, the largest of the Sangihe arc. Deep valleys that form passageways for lahars dissect the flanks of the volcano, which was constructed within a 4.5-km-wide caldera. Powerful explosive eruptions in 1711, 1812, 1856, 1892, and 1966 produced devastating pyroclastic flows and lahars that caused more than 8000 cumulative fatalities. Awu contained a summit crater lake that was 1 km wide and 172 m deep in 1922, but was largely ejected during the 1966 eruption.

Sources: Agence France-Presse (AFP), Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM), The Jakarta Post