The Piton de la Fournaise volcano on Reunion Island, located in the Indian Ocean, began erupting on March 3, 2018 for the first time since July 2017. One scientist warned of a “seismic crisis” after the eruption caused a crack in the crater stretching one mile across the French island.
And IPGP seismologist Lucile Bruhat said on Twitter: “Volcanic eruption in progress in Reunion Island at Piton de la Fournaise. Seismic crisis this morning leading to dike (~1km long) opening.” The eruption also produced landslides and fumaroles – openings through which toxic gas escapes. The volcanic tremor continues to intensify.
IPGP flew a helicopter over the volcano and said they’re local OVPF team had seen “lava fountains” erupting through the crust of the crater. They said: “Following a reconnaissance made by a team of the OVPF at the ramparts of the Enclos, the eruptive activity could be confirmed. It is located on the northern flank of the volcano at the top of the broken slope.”
And added: “A helicopter overflight of the eruptive site by a second team of the OVPF in the middle of the afternoon allowed to locate more precisely the eruption. A long crack about 1km long opened in 7 distinct segments, two with emissions of lava fountains. The last active segment is just below the rampart below the Sainte Rose Coupé Nose.”
They warned the volcanic eruption could escalate over the next hours and days, with new cracks or deformations likely.
They said:”At 16:00 local time, many landslides were recorded by the OVPF network in the rampart at the Nez Coupé de Sainte Rose area, and many fumaroles were observed on site at this level. Given these observations and the location of the downstream point at the foot of the rampart, further propagation (inside or outside the enclosure) of new eruptive cracks over the next few hours remains possible.”
New cracks, new volcanic eruption, new dangerous natural disaster. Get prepared!