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Report on Manam (Papua New Guinea) — 24 November-30 November 2004


Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
24 November-30 November 2004
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2004. Report on Manam (Papua New Guinea). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 24 November-30 November 2004. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (24 November-30 November 2004)


Papua New Guinea

4.08°S, 145.037°E; summit elev. 1807 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

High-level volcanic activity continued at Manam during 24-30 November. The Darwin VAAC reported that satellite imagery showed eruption cloud tops at a height of ~18 km a.s.l. on 24 November and that RVO reported strong Strombolian eruptions and lava flows. By 28 November plumes were visible on satellite imagery at a height of ~5.5 km a.s.l. On 30 November the Washington VAAC did not see plumes on satellite imagery, but RVO reported that the eruption continued.

According to news reports, evacuation of the ~9,600 residents of the island of Manam began on 28 November. Food gardens, cash crops, trees, and houses (about 20 bush houses) were destroyed on the island and the drinking water was contaminated. Residents were being evacuated to Bogia, about 2 hours away by boat. There were unconfirmed reports of two deaths, due to drinking "ash-contaminated water," and five injuries.

Geological Summary. The 10-km-wide island of Manam, lying 13 km off the northern coast of mainland Papua New Guinea, is one of the country's most active volcanoes. Four large radial valleys extend from the unvegetated summit of the conical basaltic-andesitic stratovolcano to its lower flanks. These valleys channel lava flows and pyroclastic avalanches that have sometimes reached the coast. Five small satellitic centers are located near the island's shoreline on the northern, southern, and western sides. Two summit craters are present; both are active, although most observed eruptions have originated from the southern crater, concentrating eruptive products during much of the past century into the SE valley. Frequent eruptions, typically of mild-to-moderate scale, have been recorded since 1616. Occasional larger eruptions have produced pyroclastic flows and lava flows that reached flat-lying coastal areas and entered the sea, sometimes impacting populated areas.

Sources: Papua New Guinea Post-Courier Online, Agence France-Presse (AFP), Associated Press, Reuters, Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)