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South Seas Volcano Becomes More Threatening April 12, 2013
Plumes of ash and steam soaring above Yasur volcano from earlier activity.
Residents on the Vanuatu island of Tanna have been alerted to the possibility of more explosive eruptions from Yasur volcano.

The mountain is a popular destination for tourists wanting to see lava spewing from its nearly circular summit crater.

But vulcanologists say Yasur is exhibiting the potential for blasts that could send lava bombs falling far from the crater. Raining ash is also an increased threat.

Yasur has been erupting nearly continuously for more than 800 years, although it can usually be approached safely.

The glow of the volcano’s lava at night was apparently what attracted Captain James Cook to approach Tanna on the first European journey to the island in 1774.

Three years ago, an eruption of Mount Garat on Vanuatu’s island of Gaua threatened to force almost 3,000 residents to evacuate to other islands.

Photo: Vanuatu Air Tours