Active volcanoes / Aktive vulkaner:

Jabal al-Tair, Yemen

Photo: Google Maps

The volcano on Jabal al-Tair, a tiny island in the Red Sea close to the Yemeni coast,
There are 151 Yemeni islands in the Red Sea, of which around 18 lie in the volcanically active part of the sea-bed
between the Arabian peninsula and the Horn of Africa.

Jabal al-Tair (Bird Mountain) island is about 3km long, covers an area of 3.9sqkm, and its highest peak is 1,200 metres. It lies about 100km off the nearest Yemeni coast and, according to geologists, is in a volcanically active part of the Red Sea.

There have been several previous eruptions of the volcano, including a possible one in 1332, and others in the 18th and 19th centuries. The last time the island witnessed a strong volcanic eruption was in 1883.

January 18th, 2008
The volcano on Jabal al-Tair might cause environmental damage to nearby areas. The warning comes after continuous volcanic eruptions on the island since December 2007.

Emissions - mainly sulphur dioxide 2 (SO2) and 3 (SO3) - from the volcano could lead to acid rain. If the wind takes such emissions to nearby areas, the acid rain will destroy agricultural fields and cause water pollution. The threatened areas include Tehama, a huge agricultural region in the western province of al-Hudeidah, about 70km from the island.

The volcano has not cooled since it erupted on 30 September 2007. Serious eruptions, accompanied by lava flows,
occurred again on 3 December and geologists say the eruptions could continue for a long time.
A military garrison on Lesser Hunaish island, close to Jabal al-Tair, has not been allowed to return after it was evacuated.

A month ago the government had set up three early warning stations on three Red Sea islands - Hunaish, Zuqar and Kamaran, but they were not as useful as they could have been.

December 4th, 2007
The eruption occurred after seismic activities in the area over the past two days. The volcano has been active since it erupted on 30 September 2007, and there have been occasional lava flows.

The 30 September eruption led to the deaths of nine people and 47 others were slightly injured.

October 3rd, 2007
The Earthquake Observation Centre said it had recorded tremors in the Red Sea from 22 September until the volcano’s eruption. They measured 2.0-3.6 degrees on the Richter scale, with five of the larger ones recorded on 30 September.

The island is unpopulated but for a small Yemeni naval base which monitors nearby shipping lanes. The volcano destroyed all the buildings of the naval base, which had to be evacuated as the eruption sent part of the island collapsing into the sea and covered the rest with lava.

Four of the nine people reported missing in the eruption died. Rescue teams evacuated 47 people from the naval base
and sent them to the nearest military hospital on the mainland, in the province of al-Hodeidah.

More info and video - click here




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