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Increase in volcanic activity at Vanuatu’s East Epi sub-marine volcano

Residents on Epi in Vanuatu have reported seeing an increase in activity of the East Epi sub-marine volcano this morning.

The volcanic alert level has been increased to Alert Level 1.

The Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department has received reports of steam over the sub-marine volcano area around 7.48am (local time).

There is also reports of Sulphur dioxide followed by phreatic explosions propelling ash some 100 meters high.

People on Epi, Tongoa and the surrounding islands have been advised to stay clear of the coast as phreatic explosions may continue and could generate small waves.

VMGD confirmed that the Tsunami systems within the Tsunami Warning Center (TWC) have not picked up this activity. However, such eruptions have the potential to create tsunami wave”.

The department will continue to monitor the volcano activity and update when more information becomes available.

Phreatic explosions (Photo credit: Mayline Leleny)