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Dangers / Informations / Advises

active volcanoes in alphabetical order (03/2015):

All of the information listed below are not garanteed to be with out any mistakes, nor to be the full story. Some of those information are not up to date, so situations my have changed elementary. Therefor do not rely on those information without checking local authoritys and/or other sources. VHDL isn't responsible for any damage due to this data base.

    March, 2015
    VANUATU: The island state was hit by a very strong thyphoon. The logistics (flights; hoteling; trekking service) of the islands are partly out of order until further notice. Our recommendation: keep on hold, check before headding off and try to help with charity if you can.

KLICK for enlarged map!

  • Acatenango
    ADVISE: INSIVUMEH reported that during 19-20 and 23-24 January 2011 explosions from Fuego produced ash plumes that rose 500-800 m above the crater and drifted W, NW, and S. Incandescent material was ejected as high as 100 m above the crater. Rumbling and degassing sounds were noted, and avalanches descended a few drainages. Therefore, climbing from Acatenango on the slopes of Fuego can be dangerous. This is unchanged into 2014.
    WARNING: The safty situation for travelling in Guatemala is not getting better in 2012. Robberies and rapes were reported from the trekking path up Acatenango and Fuego volcano in the last years. Locals report to VHDL, that this is still a threat. This problem of crime should be taken very very seriously. For any climb, armed security should be hired - it's a must. Check with local authorities (such as INGUAT) before hidding off for the latest situation.

  • Aoba
    ATTENTION: After the strong eruption in December 2005, Ambae volcano (VANUATU) has still alert level 1, indicating a hot dome inside a crater lake. Ambae volcano began erupting after being dormant for about 120 years. 5000 people were evacuated from dangerous areas in the east and west of the island in December 2005. In July 2006 the lake calour of Ambea changed dramatically to red. Even today, phreatic eruptions can occure at any time. In 2009, the situation calmed down and the lake = crater Vui seems to have litte signs of activity in the moment. In 2012, phreatic eruptions were reported from the new vent, so more attention is advised from now on!!

  • Arenal
    ATTENTION: Climbing the volcano Arenal is not only prohibited, it's simply suicide because the summit of Arenal is one active lava dome. Pyroclalstic flows can occure at any time, so keep distance as it's set by the local authorities (national park).

  • Aso
    ATTENTION: Eruption started end of 2014. Evacuation zone is around the crater unil further notice. Gas eruptions at Aso (Kyushu I.) like in 2013/2014 will be a threat even after the main eruption period. Beware of it and keep out of closed areas!

    ATTENTION: Between the volcano Bardabunga and Askja a fissure has opened on 28. August after long lasting seismic unrest in this area in 2014. Lava eruptions from up to 1000qm/sec. have been meassured. All this contunues into 2015.

  • Bromo
    NEWS: Ongoing eruption in May 2011, end in August! The explosive activity of Bromo volcano (Tengger Caldera, Java) starting end of November 2010, was a surpise to all of us. The crater is closed to the public and even access to the caldera rim could be limmited during the next weeks. In Jan, 2011, throughout March, the eruption increased and the effect to the hole area as far as Bali are tremendous. Even airtraffic has been closed at Denpasar. Some crater images of peacefull Bromo are to be found at the "Krakatau to Bali" VEI website.

  • Bulusan
    NEWS: Bulusan has erupted in Nov. 2010. Access to the summit is not possible for the next mounth and the infra-stucture around the volcano will be hitted hard even further away.
    ATTENTION: Leeches are waiting for you on the track up Bulusan when ever rainy conditions are at the volcano. Ware long pants and check your shoes from time to time!

  • Chaiten
    ADVISE: After the big eruption since 2010, the lava dome of Chilan is some kind of quite, but not cold at all. For the rare case of hiking up there, be aware of explosive new activity at the spot. Plus, the area of Chilan is on of the best spots to get lot on track and in severe difficulties.

  • El Hiero
    UPDATE Feb/12: Activity is dropping dramatically, but who knows!?
    UPDATE Nov/11 (by the earthquake-report) Harmonic tremor has decreased suddenly at 22:08 UTC. Apparently the vent has collapsed again, as it did on October 12. Maybe the decrease in harmonic tremor will be the beginning of stronger earthquakes as it was the case with similar activity the last few weeks.
    - Almost all the earthquakes have an epicenter in the El Golfo bay at a depth of 13 ! to 25 km (13 km is the shallowest depth since many days, but does not have to be an important sign)
    - Deformation is more or less stabilized since the eruption began.
    23rd Oct: new seismic give new allert to uprising lava. To us, it looks more north!! let' s see!. After long seismic unrest under this Canarian island, a submarine eruption started 11. Oct 2011. So far no threat to the inhabitants of El Hiero. Link to graphics: Instituto Geografico Naciaonal (c)2011; IGN

  • el hiero11

  • Erta Ale
    ATTENTION: After JAN incident 2012, a military unit has been based at Erta Ale to protect tourist groups at the volcano from the base to the top. This makes the volcano visit as safe, as it has never been. The volcano Dallol is still visited with military company.
    JAN 17th,2012
    A travel group has been ataced by rebells at Erta Ale, 5 travellers died from shooting. We are very sorry about this clash and we feel very sorry for our friends and partners in Ethiopia about this circumstances. The political situation in Ethiopia was quite ok through 2012, but trouble in the conflict area of Harerge (towards Somalia) and political clashes in Addis are still hard to predict. There is still an official warning by some countries for travelling to the Dankail (area controlled by the Afar tribe). Check carefully local news and your travel operators before you start! In 2008 and 2009 many groups reached Erta Ale without any problems. But in April 2009, a car with an american volcano visitor hit a mine close to Erta Ale. One man in the car died. This threat has to be taken seriously. For more details look at the VHDL-project: HOT SPOT DANAKIL!
    WARNING: Voluminous collapses of the crater walls (active pit) can take place without any warning. The lava layers at Erta Ale are unstable and sismic can cause this rock fall. Because of this, a descent into the pit is risky. A gas mask inside and sometimes aswell outside the craters can be necessary.
    ERUPTION-NEWS: In Jan. and Dec. 2014 the lava lake inside the south pit crater was only 5 meters below the pit rim. The degassing and fountaining of the lake was quite strong. See some new IMAGES

  • Etna
    ATTENTION:The access to the summit craters of Etna is closed = prohibited due to vast collapses of this area since Sep. 2010. Ok folks, it's realy true, the entire summit crater is some kind of fragile tarrain.
    Eruption-NEWS:The activity at Etna with effusive lava has stopped in 2009. End of 2010, strong degassing at summit craters (specialy NE Crater) give signs for more to come. Sudden lava flows and paroxysm are possible at any time, which finally started in 2011 on 2. Jan., 11. Feb., 18.Feb., 10.Apr., 11.May, 9.Jul., ... 8.Oct., 15.Nov., 5.Jan. The paroxysm number 20 occured at Etna on 8. Feb 2012. Next eruptions: 4.Mar, 18.Mar, ..., 24.Apr., ... This long lasting episode ends in April. From January 2013, a new episode has started with a break in summer, but even more eruptions in winter 2013/2014. The story goes on in 2014....
    INFO: This mountain is more than 3000 meters high and has to be taken as an alpine region with snowstorms even in the summer month. Suddenly appearing clouds and mist can make orientation very difficult. Bring always worm cloth, a helmet, a lot of drinking water and a compass. Avoid going alone and if you don't know the terrain do not climb the crater area without a guide. Activity by one of the craters on Etna could have started just before your arrival, so check with locals first.
    ATTENTION in general: The individual access further than 2900 meters (or beyond Torre del filosofo)to the summit of Etna without a guide is not recommended. Groups are limited to 10 people above 2900 m altitude. The summit craters are always good to erupt with litte signs in a sudden.

  • Eyjafjallajökull
    Eruption-NEWS:The eruption continues violently in the first half of May 2010. Still, it was possible to get closer to the crater on top of the glacier. But do realise, that volcanic bombs have been thrown out far beyond the caldera rim (crater). So if youlike to go there, do it with experienced local guides (tours).
    ATTENTION: The glacier itself and specially in combination with the icelandic weather, is a serious threat to all volcano visitors. Individual access up to the glaceir (caldera) was officially still prohibited midd of May 2010.

  • Fuego
    WARNING: See for "Acatenango" above!!!
    ERUPTION-NEWS: More or less constantly active with strombolian eruptions and sometimes lava flows, very strong active beginning of June, through out 2013. In 2015 eruptions keep strong!

  • Galeras
    WARNING: The volcano erupted in 2010-2012. How sad, volcanoes are not the greatest threat in Columbia. A very beautiful country, which is still penetrated by a bunch of gangs - so called FARC-fighters for what ever political reason. SO beware of where you hike, or simply don't!!

  • Gaua
    ACTIVITY-NEWS: GAUA Banks Islands (SW Pacific) 14.27S, 167.50E; summit elev. 797 m After the increased of seismicity at Gaua, the volcano erupted end of 2009 with increase into 2010. Visiting the crater is now off limit until the volcano calms down.
    For general hazards and politics on Gaua, see the project VANUATU.

  • Grimsvötn
    ERUPTION 2011: The volcano erupted on 21 May. Depending on wind directions, vast areas might get effected by pyroclastics (ash). A subglacier melt and flooding (Jökulhlaups) may occure to the south areas of Vatnajökull.
    ATTENTION: Because this eruption is even bigger than the 2010 Eyjafjalla eruption, air traffic might get effected as much as in 2010.

  • Katla
    WARNING: The seismic at Kata indicate magma moving. See the grafic below from 23. Sep. for example. A havy eruption could come soon. Stay allerted! Grafic: Icelandic Met Office (c)2011

  • iceland11

  • Kirishima
    NEWS: The latest press release (Japanese) from the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology says that this eruption of Kirishima is already 9 times larger than the 1959 eruption of the volcano, with over 70 million tonnes of ash and tephra erupted. You can begin to get an idea of the ash fallout as well, with a very heavily hit zone to the southeast of the volcano, as much as 10 kg/m2 upwards of 20 km from the Shinmoe-dake crater (see map below). You can also check out some images of bombs from the explosion in the latest update (Japanese) from the Japanese Meteorological Agency. A pictures of Shinmoe-dake crater from 2009 can be seen on the VEI Webisite "Volcanoes of Japan".
    In March 2011 the eruption is going on again very violently!

  • Klyuchevskoi
    NEWS: Since September 2013, strombolian and lava flows occure at Kamchatkas highest volcano. Beginning of 2015, an eruption period starts again.

  • Krakatau
    WARNING: From 2007 until 2009 and again in 2010, strong strombolian eruptions occured at Anak Kraktau. Visits of the summit = crater are not adviseable. Midd of November 2010 the explosions were so strong, that volcanic bombs went beyond the coast lines all over the island Anak Krakatau. The local volcano observer Andi told us, that the sismic station did nod work any more from 23 Nov. This station was propably hit by a bomb. In Sep. 2011 the observation was working again. A lava fountain was noticed by a travel team on 2nd of Sep. 2011 inside the crater of Anak Krakatau. So beware of havy eruptions at any time. Some pictures can be studied at Project Krakatau.
    NEWS: October 2011 into 2012. Many explosive eruptions have been reported!

  • Lokon Empung
    WARNING: explosive eruption occured in 2013 in 2014!

  • Mayon
    WARNING: The Eruption midd of December 2009 was a "BIG" one. Areas around Mayon had been evacuated. During the last days of Dec. 2009 the eruption came to an end. In May 2011 the volcano showed a littel more unrest, so you may expect the next eruption period to come.
    NEWS: An unexpected phreatic eruption occured at the philippian strato volcano Mayon 2013, causing approx. 5 climbers dead and some injured. Mostly german volcano hikers are under the victims. We know, phreatic eruptions aren't predictable. However, a quite rare hazard to be caught in.
    WARNING OCTOBER 2014: Lava dome activity and sismic could indicate a yuite soon comming eruption!

  • Merapi
    ERUPTION-NEWS 2013: In November a very trong phreatic eruption occured. Ashfall was reported. Glow of the lava dome was visible before this event. Strong explosions occured also in 2014.
    ERUPTION-HISTORY 2010: On Nov., 5th, fatal PF's rushed down the south flank of Merapi. More than 300 death are now expected on total. Some villages are devasted. To the west, a lot of vegetaion and crops had been demaged.
    On 26th October it has come to the expected eruption. Sadly, the damage and lost of lifes are tremendous - about 150 death until 7th of November. And what's on it's way for the next days and weeks?
    Midd of October 2010, Marapi is ready to erupt again, evacuations are on the way and the access to the summit is closed. From 21st Oct. 2010 Merapi is on alert level III. Big eruptions and PF's could occure at any time.
    ADVISE: Merapi is certainly not a volcano to climb during activity. Specially in the south pyroclastic flows or rockfall can occure at any time and can travel very far distance. Volcano guides are a god idea and to check the volcanic observation staff ahead of excursions is advised.
    2006 HISTORY: As of the 16th of June 2006,
    a large PF goes along the river at Kaliadem and kills two locals who tried to hide in a bunker. Because they could not close the door of the bunker, hot gas burned them to death. 27th of May 2006, EARTHQUAKE (6,2 Richter) at 5:57 local time an earthquake hit the city of Yogya and Gunung Merapi. Thousands of people could have been victims. So far the fragile erupting dome of Merapi did not show significant activity or collapses after the earthquake. Although some bigger PF's did occure.

  • Nyamuragira
    DANGER: After the 2006 elections (Kabila made the run), armed groups and gangs (most of allied with Bemba) around the Virunga volcanoes (East-Kongo) still control the area. For any accesss to the Virunga volcanoes on foot, check the current safty situation very carfully!
    NEWS 07/11/11: Another eruption occured at Nyamuragira ending around May 2012 and in Aug. 2014.

  • Nyiragongo
    WARNING-NEWS: Midd of 2010, the national park at Nyiragongo has opended to visitors. This is an increase since spring 2009, when one of the local leader, Laurent Nkunda, was captured and brought to jail because of war crime. This has already increased the safety situation at the Virungas, specially at Nyiragongo. But caution is still a "must".
    ATTENTION: The beautifull lava lake inside Nyiragongo ist ongoing active. When you look at it, be aware of the fragile crater rim. REPORT on Nyiragongo from 1/2011 at projects!

  • Oldoinyo Lengai
    ACTIVITY-NEWS: 2014, There is prove of lava spattering (effusive) inside the crater.
    We visited Lengai midd of May. At that time there were still explosive eruptions and the climb of the volcano was difficult and taff to do. More details under project "OLDOINYO LENGAI" .
    WARNING before 2008 by the frequent visitors of Oldoinyo Lengai (Keller, Nyamweru, Belton, Klaudius, Weber): Lengai is not a gentle "toy volcano". Do not climb hornitos, do not camp in the crater and avoid getting close (min. 100 m) to any erupting hornito, unless you know this volcano very well. The red Spitting Cobra, the Egyptian Cobra and Pythons were all seen at the top of Lengai (2900 m) and on the slopes. A leopard may stand infront of you as well on the top of Lengai and watch carefully the baboons and craws. If you think fo camping up there, do it in the south crater and NOT in the active crater. Accidents have nearly caused death to victims camping in the active crater.

  • Ontake
    DANGER: On Ontake volcano an unexpected activity started with a havy phreatic eruption on September 27th 2014. More is possible to come. The holy volcano is visited by many pilgrims day day when calm. Now any access is prohibited.

  • Ontake 2009 Ontake 2009 Ontake 2009
    Images form left: Side crater with pilgrims facilities; summit facilities; active crater on Ontake (c)VEI 2009

  • Pacaya
    ADVISE: The area around the volcano is much safer today than it was in the late 90's. But it is still very adviseable to hike with a local guide. This is also because of Pacayas frequent strombolian activity which might be quite rough sometimes. Seismic crisis could indicate that a new eruptions could start soon (3/2012).

  • Piton de la Fournaise
    ADVISE: The April 2007 eruption on the east flank of Piton has caused a collaps of Dolomieu crater (about 300 m). This collaps at Dolomieu can continue so respect the local advises and indicated zones of high risks. The eruption fissure during this period was closed to the public.
    NEWS: New flank eruption in 2014 after 3 years break.

  • Popocatepetl
    ADVISE: The access to Paso de Cortés (3650 meters) can be off limit because of activity. From Paso de Cortés closer to the volcano or even climbing is strictly prohibited so far. Lahars, pyroclastic flows and rock fall occure often and this volcano can set free high quantities of energy in one sudden blast. Climbing the neighbouring Izta is relativly safe concerning eruptions - check authorities first. ERUPTIONS in 2013/2014 were quite strong.

  • Puyehue
    ATTENTION: An eruption started at PUYEHUE in June 2011, causing air traffic probelms in southern Chile (specially Puerto Montt and Barilloche, Argentina) since than. In MARCH. 2012, the eruption was not over. Hiking to the summit and arround this volcano could be out of the question for the following mounth. NEWS: in Mai 2012 Puyehue has cooled down.

  • Reventator
    (NO) WARNING: A new mild Eruption period started in 2012, continuing into 2015. Beside travel warnings in Ecudor, Reventador is quite safe to climb. Just beware of volcanic hazards and some tuff trekking area to get there!!

  • Sakura-jima
    ADVISE: Explosive activity can be very strong at Skura-jima (2015 and ongoing), so keep distance and restrictions around the volcano and check local authorities.

  • San Salvador
    ATTENTION: Robberies have been reported by people walking alone on San Salvador volcano. The areas at the slopes of this volcano is inhabited by very poor people, criminal gangs and former political fighters. Firearms are common in El Salvador.

  • Semeru
    ATTENTION: The volcano Semeru has ongoing explosive activity. The rough climb is not recommended without official permit. Like during summer 2004, the access might be prohibited because of strong activity. If it's possible to climb the summit with a guide, bring a lot of water, warm cloth and a helmet. Do not think of going from the summit to the active crater and sticking your nose inside of it. Sudden eruption can cause deadly rock fall close to the crater.
    NEWS: All times 2009, mild activity accured at Semeru. Still, the summit is not conciddered to be a safe place in general. PF to the south of the volcano are common and in 2010 activity seems to increase again in Novmeber. Early 2012 eruptions are stronger than in 2011.

  • Sheveluch
    ADVISE: If you do have the rare adventage to visit Sheveluch, check with the local volcanologists at Kliuchy for the current stage of activity and do not enter the area without them!

  • Sinabung
    TRAVEL-WARNING: Because of the eruption, the airport of Medan (Sumatra) might get closed because of volcanic ash. Activity began at Sinabung volcano, on 27th August 2010 (after 400 years of inactivity)and ends in 2010. In October 2013 a new explosive eruption episode has occured with evacuations.
    ERUPTION-NEWS 2014: There is still a great threat comming from Sinabung volcano on Sumatra. Evacuation zone is about 7 km from the volcano, which is hard to take for the local population.

  • Slamet
    WARNING: strombolian (explosive) activity is in progress 2014! An even bigger eruption could come with no warnings, so be allerted!

  • Soputan
    WARNING: In May 2014 seismic indicates dome grow and lava intrusion. End of 2014 into 2015 a new eruption started!

  • Soufriere
    WARNING: End of December 2009 through to January 2010, Soufriere dome ist very active growing and dangerous. PF's did reach the sea and Plymouth. To enter the closed zone is strictly forbidden and controlled by the police. Fines up to 1400USD were given to trespasser.

  • Stromboli
    ADVISE: Access to the summit of Stromboli is prohibited without a guided group. Anyway, getting close to the craters is certainly fatal. Bring a helmet for safty when you climb to the individual limit of 400 m obove see level. Guided tours to the crater rim will provide helmets for visitors.
    A new route up to the crater rim has opened in March 2005. This route (access) is limited to the guided groups. Since the volcano is well monitored by cameras, this regulations can be controlled by authorities. A serious fine has been set up to threaten anyone not keeping this limits.
    NEWS: Lava flow activity occured on Stromboli from 27/02/2007 until 04/04/2007. On 15/03/2007 a strong explosiv eruption feared the islanders. The summit (above 400 m altitude) of the volcano is open for guided hiking so far (7/2008). In 2014, lavaflow activity and powerfull eruption inbetween indicate ongoing activity.

  • Tolbachik
    NEWS (DEC 2012 until JULY 2013): Eruption in progress with effusive and explosiv activity until Aug. 2013. See images form a visit in July 2013. TOLBACHIK page!

  • Tolbachik Sat.IMG

  • Tungurahua
    ERUPTION: Havy eruption are going on at Tungurahua in 2013.

  • Turrialba
    NEWS (JAN 2012): Since the long term expected eruption started at Turrialba 2010, the volcano summit is of course closed for hiking until further notice. Check with local agencies for any hiking attempts. Ongoing eruptions in 2015!

  • Tavuvur
    WARNING: The crater (lava dome) of Tavuvur can erupt without no warning very strong. See enlarged image of the glowing lava dome inside the crater of Tavuvur - always ready to erupt!

  • Yasur
    ADVISE: This strombolian volcano is erupting lava all year around. The hike up there to the crater on a good road is easy, but because of changing activity levels from one day to the next, you are advised to go with a local guide to make your excursion as safe as possible.
    NEWS: End of 2012, the acivity at Yasur increases to level 3. To climb further on from the parking area is dangerous with warning this level 3, because of lava bombs being ejected up to the craters rim. In 2015, activity is normal and climbing the volcano common by tourists.

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