Reunion volcano erupting

22nd September 2008, Comments 0 comments

Lava is flowing from a volcano on France’s Indian Ocean island of Reunion.

22 September 2008

SAINT DENIS -- A volcano on France's Indian Ocean island of Reunion started erupting on Sunday, forcing authorities to warn of a possible emergency.

"A light lava flow escaped from one crack located about mid-way on the slope of the crater" of the Piton de la Fournaise volcano, Reunion authorities said in a statement.

"A small lake of lava formed at the bottom of the crater and at this stage does not appear to pose any danger", the statement said.

However, access to the volcanic site was banned.

The Volcano Observatory on the island noted lava movement and release of gas mid-afternoon on Sunday, the authorities said.

This is the first eruption since the April 2007 flow which was called the "eruption of the century".

The eruption caused the collapse of the volcano's summit, with lava at times shooting as high as 200 metres (656 feet) into the air.

Lava flow was estimated at three million cubic metres per day.

The volcano on Reunion, at 2,632 metres high, is one of the most active in the world. It was active on average about twice a year over the past few years.

It does not threaten the island's population since the eruptions, which can usually be predicted, take place in an uninhabited area.

[AFP / Expatica]

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