This makes two large eruptions in one day across the Indian Ocean into the West Pacific — meaning the pressure which I warned about in the Earthquake Forecast from 3 days ago is beginning to show across the West Pacific.
See the earthquake forecast here:
First plane debris, then a volcano eruption on remote Reunion Island
“Residents of Reunion Island are having a busy week.
On Wednesday, beachcombers on the island — a French territory in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar — stumbled across a washed-up piece of plane debris that likely belonged to missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, yielding a possible key to one of the greatest mysteries in aviation history.
And then on Friday, a volcano erupted.
The 8,635-foot-high Piton de la Fournaise volcano, located in an uninhabited area south of the beach where the debris was found, erupted at 9 a.m., according to local media.
“Several lava fountains are visible, and the lava was making a rumbling sound,” reported the local newspaper Clicanoo.
Guillaume Cazarré, 36, a Frenchman who has lived on Reunion for 10 years, told the paper he witnessed the eruption while on a tourist helicopter ride that he had been given as a birthday gift.
“When we passed at the level of the Partage peak around 9:45 a.m., I saw a red glow — the volcano had just woken up,” he said. “I mentioned this to the pilot and the other tourists who were in the helicopter. We went near and flew around the area for around five to 10 minutes. The pilot said we couldn’t stay any longer for security reasons. It was magical. It was the best present anyone could have given me. Exceptional. I’ve already seen other eruptions, but this was the best.”
“The Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center has confirmed a new eruption from Manam in Papua New Guinea.
Now, initial reports of big eruptions can be dicey, but from reports on the ground and from passing aircraft, the plume from Manam may be as tall as ~20 km (65,000 feet), with the ash drifting to the southwest.
There aren’t a lot of details, but this does look similar to an explosive eruption at Manam that occurred back in 2004-05. Over the past few weeks, the volcano has been producing smaller ash plumes that reached 8-10 km, but as the Himawari-8 satellite loop (above) shows, this plume is much bigger.
You can also see an IR satellite loop from Himawari-8 that shows the growing plume. No word on the people who live on Manam who returned after evacuation during the 2004-05 eruptions.
UPDATE 11:15 AM July 31
Ash from the Manam eruption has coated a number of towns, including Bogia, on the coast of New Guinea.
In the same report, officials in PNG suggest that this eruption “opened” the magmatic system so more eruptions could be forthcoming.
Initial estimates (from OMI and OMPS measurements) of the blast put the sulfur dioxide emitted at 1.9-2.2 kT, which is relatively small (and likely a low-end estimate).
If you want to see the eruption in true color (see below), check out this great Himawari-8 satellite loop. It shows that the blast was fairly ephemeral, with an initial blast that dissipated after a few hours. This might support the “throat-clearing” suggested by local officials.
In a bit of an eerie coincidence, officials from Manam and Bogia just recently settled their discord over the resettlement of over 1,000 volcanic refugee from the 2004 eruption of Manam to Bogia. The refugees from 2004 have yet to find permanent homes after having to leave the island. More than 9,000 were initially evacuated in 2004.
However, more than 5,000 people still live on the island and are being evacuated to the Madang mainland and will likely be permanently resettled. Two injuries from the eruption have been reported so far as well.
The Rabaul Volcano Observatory doesn’t have much information on the eruption due to Manam’s location, but rumbling was heard at Bogia in the hours leading up to and during the eruption.
The United States Military Directed Energy Warfare Office (DEWO), is a new military command tasked with the development (and implementation) of next generation weapons such as High Power Microwaves (HPM), High Power Lasers (HPL), and other new plasma weapons / defenses.
“WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. military has made strides in developing lasers, microwaves and other directed energy weapons, and could soon use them more widely, top armed forces officials and U.S. lawmakers told an industry conference on Tuesday.
The officials described weapons that are in various stages of development and testing by the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Army, but said more work was needed to scale up the technology for larger weapons, develop tactics for their use, and ensure sufficient funding.
“Directed energy brings the dawn of an entirely new era in defense,” Lieutenant General William Etter, Commander, Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region, told a conference hosted by Booz Allen Hamilton and the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment.
Directed energy refers to weapons that emit focused energy in the form of lasers, microwaves, electromagnetic radiation, radio waves, sound or particle beams. Lasers are already widely use to guide bombs to their target, but the next step would be to use the lasers as weapons themselves.
The military has been working on such weapons for decades, but says many technology challenges have finally been addressed.
Etter and other officials said such weapons could lower the cost of current weapons, speed up responses to enemy attacks and cut deaths of civilians in the battlefield.
Defense Undersecretary Frank Kendall, the top U.S. arms buyer, said Pentagon funding for directed energy programs would remain steady at about $300 million a year for now, with larger-scale demonstrations to start in about five years.
Kendall said directed energy offered a less expensive way to counter ballistic and cruise missile threats than the expensive interceptors used now, and urged industry to focus development efforts on those threats.
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus told the conference the Navy was encouraged by testing of a laser deployed on the USS Ponce in the Gulf, which can destroy small boats and unmanned aerial vehicles, and can also be used as a telescope.
Mabus said the Navy was extending deployment of the laser on the Ponce, and using lessons learned to help produce a 100-150 kilowatt laser prototype for testing at sea in 2018 or sooner.
He said a powerful new railgun that could hit targets 100 miles away would also be tested at sea next year. A railgun is an electrically powered electromagnetic projectile launcher.
He said the Navy would release a comprehensive road map for these sort of weapons this fall and could initiate a full-scale acquisition program in fiscal 2018.
Mabus said Iran and other countries were already using lasers to target ships and commercial airliners, and the U.S. military needed to accelerate often cumbersome acquisition processes to ensure that it stayed ahead of potential foes.
Major General Jerry Harris, vice commander of Air Combat Command, said the Air Force had developed a high-power microwave weapon that could disperse crowds without killing people by rapidly raising body temperature, and the system could be put to use immediately on drones or other aircraft.”