December 12, 2004
During the last week of November 2004, daily eruptions of ash and steam from Manam Volcano off the eastern coast of Papua New Guinea (north of Australia), made thousands of residents' living conditions so unfavorable that they were evacuated by container ship. In addition to disruptions of the food and water supply, ash isolated the islanders even further by dirtying the solar panels that provide electricity for the island's radio communication with the mainland. Officials and scientists are concerned that the ongoing activity is a sign that a major eruption is brewing, and they began urgent evacuation of 9,000 people on November 28, 2004. Manam is a very active volcano, having erupted at least 30 times since 1616; 23 of those within the 20th Century. The last major eruption was in 1994, when volcanic activity sent an ash plume six miles (10 km) and molten projectiles about a mile (1-2 km) into the atmosphere.
Topics: Disaster Accident, Environment, Stratovolcanoes, Volcanology, Geology, Manam, Eruption column, Cerro Negro, Types of volcanic eruptions, Volcanic ash, Igneous rocks, Volcano, Plate tectonics