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Pyroclastic Flow – Run Away!

Pyroclastic Flow – Run Away!

March 19, 2009 Environment 0

Currently there is an undersea eruption happening at the Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai volcano in Tonga.  Check out the video above which was filmed by some tourist/fishing types in a little boat who went to look at it.

[singlepic id=336 w=320 h=240 float=right]   Then wait until about 0:45 as a white cloud starts boiling towards them and they shout,


Painfully funny, I know, but compare it to the second video (below) of the Montserrat eruption.

The similarity is obvious, and for anyone who’s witnessed or knows about pyroclastic flows, “Run Away” is about it, although laughably inappropriate on a boat!

[singlepic id=335 w=320 h=240 float=left]It’s important to realise that this volcano is undersea.  I don’t know how far down, but for every 100m of depth, each square metre of the eruption has already managed to shift 100 tons of seawater even before it reaches the surface.  These are colossal pressures and forces.

Things like this happen in Europe too – such as Pompeii in 79AD, and these pictures taken by me of some pyroclastic sediments in an old quarry, now car park, above Volvic, France.  These successive events finished about 8000 years ago, I’m told.


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