Geophysical event


  • Anonymous


Pagan Volcano, Mariana Islands, Western Pacific Ocean (18.13°N, 145.80°E). All times are local (GMT+10 h). A strong explosive eruption from North Pagan, the larger of the two stratovolcanos that form the Pagan volcano complex, began on May 15. While reporting strong felt seismicity on the island, radio operator Pedro Castro suddenly announced at 0915 that the volcano was erupting. Communication was then cut off. An infrared image returned from the Japanese geostationary weather satellite at 1000 showed a very bright circular cloud about 80 km in diameter over the volcano. The cloud spread SE at about 70 km/h, and by 1600 its maximum height was estimated at 13.5 km from satellite imagery. Weakening of activity was evident on the image returned at 1900, and on the next image, at 2200, feeding of the eruption cloud had stopped, with the proximal end of the cloud located about 120 km SE of the volcano. No additional activity has been detected on the satellite images, but by 0400 the next morning, remnants of the plume had reached 10°N and 155°E.