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Report on Awu (Indonesia) — 9 June-15 June 2004


Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
9 June-15 June 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, 9 June-15 June 2004. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (9 June-15 June 2004)



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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

On 13 June, DVGHM reduced the Alert Level at Awu from 4 (the highest level) to 3 after volcanic activity decreased. On 9 June, two moderate explosions rose about 2 and 3 km above the volcano. Ash drifted SW and was deposited in the villages of Tabukan utara and part of Kendahe, and at the Taha airport. After an eruption on 10 June at 0529, volcanic activity dramatically decreased with only "white smoke" rising ~50 m. This low-level activity continued through at least 14 June and the Taha airport planned to reopen. According to a news report, most of the ~20,000 people who were evacuated from near the volcano around 8 June were permitted to return home. Only some villagers from the N slope of the volcano remained in shelters.

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: Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi (PVMBG, also known as CVGHM), Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Agence France-Presse (AFP)