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Earth Happenings Archive
October 8, 2002 to October 21, 2002

October 21, 2002

On October 17, a 6.2 magnitude earthquake was felt 85 miles (135 km) SSW of Jayapura, Irian Jaya, Indonesia. (National Earthquake Information Center).

On 12 October at 2330 there was an explosion at Lewotobi Lakilaki, a stratovolcano of Lewotobi, that was accompanied by a weak thundering sound. Ash fell as far as 5 km away and an ash column rose ~500 m above the volcano. According to VSI, eruptions at Lewotobi usually occur over an extended period of time, therefore they expect more explosions to take place in the next couple of weeks to months. On 16 October, Lewotobi was at Alert Level 4 (the highest level). (Science Daily Magazine).

October 16, 2002

On October 12, a 6.9 magnitude earthquake was felt 85 miles (140 km) ESE of Cruzeiro do Sul, Brazil. (National Earthquake Information Center).

Hawaii's biggest and potentially most destructive volcano - is showing signs of life again nearly two decades after its last eruption. Recent geophysical data collected on the surface of the 13,500-foot volcano revealed that Mauna Loa's summit caldera has begun to swell and stretch at a rate of 2 to 2.5 inches a year, according to scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Stanford University. Surface inflation can be a precursor of a volcanic eruption, the scientists warn. (Science Daily Magazine).

October 8, 2002

On October 7, a 4.7 magnitude earthquake was felt 35 miles (55 km) WSW of Urumqi, Xinjiang, China (National Earthquake Information Center).

Mount Ruang, a stratovolcano in the Indonesian Sulawesi Islands, erupted on September 25, 2002, sending a large plume of ash (gray pixels) streaming westward toward Borneo and Sumatra. The eruption was preceded by earthquakes on the day before, followed by a thick, black column of volcanic ash ejected as high as 5,000 m into the sky on the 25th. While no fatalities were reported, more than 1,000 residents on Ruang Island were forced to evacuate to a nearby island. (Earth Observatory Natural Hazards).

A pattern of slow deflation occurring at Mauna Loa for the past 9 years abruptly changed in mid-May when the summit area began to slowly swell and stretch. Global Positioning System measurements revealed that distances across the summit caldera (Moku`aweoweo) have been lengthening at a rate of 5-6 cm per year, and the caldera has widened about 2 cm since 12 May. The summit area was slightly higher than before mid-May, consistent with swelling. In addition, the upper part of the SE flank showed outward movement. Seismicity remained low at Mauna Loa, although it may have been slightly higher level than during the pre-inflation interval. (Smithsonian Institution Global Volcanism Program).


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