Thursday, November 08, 2007

Kelut Volcano, Indonesia - John Seach

Kelut volcano in Indonesia was downgraded today to level 3 alert (out of maximum 4). The evaluation was based on visual, seismic, deformation, and crater lake temperature. Volcanic tremor reached a peak on 3rd November and has declined since. Ground deflation has occurred at the volcano. Crater lake temperature monitoring equipment was destroyed by growth of the lava dome on 4th November. On 6th November, thermal imaging of the crater showed a temperature of 75 deg C, and the lava dome had a temperature of 150-210 deg C. Visual monitoring showed a change in colour of the crater lake. The colour was whitish-green on October 16, yellow-green on October 26, and lake turned turbid on November 3. On 4th November white emissions were observed rising 500 m above the crater, coinciding with the formation of a lava dome in the middle of the crater lake. Most of the energy generated by the volcano since 11th September was taken away by the effusive emission of the lava dome. There is still a possibility of a phreatic eruption which could destroy the lava dome. Residents have been advised to stay calm and not be influenced by rumours. Refugees have been allowed to returned to their houses, but need to evacuate at short notice if there is a change in alert level at the volcano. The volcano is still producing dangerous gases which can be harmful to people. The community if forbidden to enter a 1 (one) km exclusion zone around the crater. The temperature of the lava dome is still high, and rain may produce a phreatic eruption which could affect a 3km radius from the crater. Residents are urged to follow advice from local authorities.
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