UPDATE 1 — Volcanic eruption in Eritrea sends plume into the air, first since 1861

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ASMARA, ERITREA (BNO NEWS) — A volcano erupted in the Southern Red Sea Region of Eritrea on early Monday morning, experts said, sending an ash cloud kilometers (miles) up into the air. It is the first eruption at the volcano since 1861.

The chief forecaster at the VAAC in Toulouse said the eruption at the Dubbi volcano began at around midnight local time (2100 GMT Sunday), sending a large plume up to 13 kilometers (8 miles) high. Few details about the eruption in the remote region were immediately available.


The eruption was preceded by a series of more than a dozen light to moderate earthquakes at the volcanic complex, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS). It said the two strongest earthquakes had both a magnitude of 5.7 on the Richter scale.

A seismologist at the USGS earlier said he did not know if the earthquakes were related to the volcano since both originate from the same continental rift zone. “This thing also tends to generate volcanic activity, given the fact that since you are opening the Earth’s crust, a lot of the magma that is underneath the Earth’s crust does actually have access to the surface,” the seismologist said earlier. “That process itself, the volcanism and the earthquakes, are related to the same rift zone.”

The Dubbi volcano, which has a peak elevation of 1,625 meters (5,331 feet), is the country’s only historically active volcano. It last erupted in 1861, destroying local villages and killing more than 100 people.

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