In early April 2010, activity at Gaua Volcano in the Vanuatu Archipelago increased. The Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory reported that the ash column, which first appeared in October 2009, became thicker and higher (compare this image to one from February 14th), and volcanic bombs were frequently sighted from the coastal villages surrounding the volcano. According to Radio New Zealand International, Vanuatu government officials are preparing to evacuate residents of Gaua Island, who are threatened by ash, poisonous gases, and landslides.
The thick, steam-rich plume from Guau Volcano blows directly northeast in this natural-color satellite image. It was acquired on April 24, 2010 by the Advanced Land Imager aboard NASA’s Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) spacecraft. The thick steam is brighter white than the surrounding lower-altitude clouds. Vegetation is green, as is Lake Letas. Vegetation to the south and west of the volcano, damaged by ash and acidic volcanic gases, is dark gray-brown.
NASA image by Jesse Allen & Robert Simmon, using ALI data from the EO-1 team. Caption by Robert Simmon.