26 Oct 2017

Solomons govt urged to improve volcano monitoring systems

5:48 pm on 26 October 2017

The Solomon Islands is calling for help to monitor its volcanoes, one which is just off the coast of the capital Honiara.

Tinakula volcano

Tinakula volcano Photo: Supplied/ Lata Met Office Mr Luke Lapoe

Gaps in the country's monitoring system have been exposed after the Tinakula volcano in the easternmost province of Temotu began erupting last weekend.

National disaster authorities in the Solomon Islands had to call for help from neighbouring Vanuatu.

The director of the Solomons National Disaster Management Office Loti Yates said the local geohazard unit did not have the capacity to respond.

"They actually made some recommendation to do aerial survey and assessment of Tinakula an advice to the aviation industry which we have done and of course the lack of a seismic station to monitor current activities."

Loti Yates said the Melanesian Volcanological Network had been urging the Solomon Islands to improve its monitoring systems, including permanent seismic stations.

Solomon Islands has at least eight volcanoes.

Two of them are under the ocean and only emerge when erupting.

The Tinakula volcano which is now spewing lava and ash last erupted in 2007.

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