White Island eruptions still likely: New Zealand expert

Source: Xinhua| 2019-12-11 09:13:30|Editor: Wang Yamei
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WELLINGTON, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- Volcanic tremor has significantly increased Wednesday morning at Whakaari/White Island, indicating that volcanic gas pressures remain high.

The Volcanic Alert Level remains at Level 3, according to an update on Wednesday by GeoNet, New Zealand's leading provider of Earth, geoscience and isotope research services.

"This has been accompanied by vigorous steaming and localised mud jetting in several of the craters created by the eruption on Monday. We interpret these signals as evidence of continued high gas pressures within the volcano," said Craig Miller, duty volcanologist of GeoNet.

The situation remains highly uncertain as to future activity. Eruptions in the next 24 hours are still likely to occur, warned the GeoNet.

Results from the gas flight conducted Tuesday afternoon are still being analysed. These are important for understanding the processes driving the volcanic activity. The gas flights are conducted in the air, hundreds of metres above the volcano and concentrations measured there may not reflect concentrations present in the crater floor.

There is an extremely low likelihood of any potential ash affecting the mainland, but people may smell gas, depending on the prevailing wind direction, said Craig Miller.