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Volcanic Alert Level For Whakaari White Island Increases Due To Loss Of Real-Time Data


The Volcanic Alert Level for Whakaari White Island has been raised from Level 1 to Level 2, due to loss of real-time monitoring capability and increased uncertainty.


GNS have been unable to service the on-island network since the December 2019 eruption.


The lack of real-time data means GNS are unable to distinguish the difference between volcanic alert levels 1 and 2.


GNS state, the increase in the island's alert level was not an indication of heightened volcanic activity. The shift in alert levels was a reflection of the increased level of uncertainty in their interpretation due to the lack of real-time data.


As a result, GNS will increase the frequency of their gas and observation flights until they can service the on-island equipment and power supplies. Intermittent webcams on the island will provide a level of visual monitoring between flights.


The most recent observation flight on 31st August indicated the level of activity on the volcano had remained low, with normal fumarole and gas emissions. Atmospheric conditions have produced tall steam and gas plumes above the island in the morning on some days, which have been visible from the coast.


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