Reunion volcano: lava flows 2km from coastal road

Posted by Elise Kirsten on 14 August 2019

Reunion Island’s Piton de la Fournaise, one of the world’s most active volcanos, is oozing lava again. The latest eruption, that began on Sunday 11 August, has continued into its third day.

According to volcanodiscovery.com, the current eruption is more intense than the short-lived eruption that took place in July.

Yesterday the website reported that ‘it seems this time it is well-fed and much more intense: lava flows have already reached considerable distance and were only about 2 km away from the coastal road when volcanologists from the observatory (OVPF) could undertake an aerial survey earlier today.’

The photos below, posted by Energies tropicales, show the lava flow between Monday and Tuesday night in the Piton du Tremblet sector.

The eruption began on the eastern flank of Dolomieu crater near the edge to the Grandes Pentes when two fissures opened up at 1700m and 1500m high, 1.4km apart from each other.

By the morning of Tuesday 13 August ‘only the lower fissure was still active and several cinder cones already had formed along it.’

Several branches of lava were reportedly joining to become major arms that reached a section of volcanic slope that is vegetated and got within 2km from the coastal road.

 

Also read: Réunion calling – a tropical island with a difference

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At the time the new report was published there was speculation that the lava flow may cross the road, which happened in 2007 during the last big eruption.

The frequent volcanic eruptions on Piton de la Fournaise tend to be short-lived and start with lava fountains and then produce large lava flows.

Although the island is populated the section near the volcano is not and poses no danger to inhabitants.

Image source: Jack Ebnet

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