Latest addition: Report on Visit to Anatahan - Wednesday 21 May, 2003 by David Hilton and Tobias Fischer

First report of eruption

Click on the photos to open a larger version in a separate browser window

Photo courtesy of Allan W. Sauter

May 10th, 2003:

"Anatahan volcano erupted at about 9:00 gmt on May 10. The eruption was observed from a small ship deploying seismographs for the MARGINS Mariana Subduction Factory imaging project. A helo sent out by the CNMI emergency management office reported an ash cloud reaching to about 40,000 ft. The eruption continued on May 12. The island had been visited by the team on May 6 and there were no indications of an eruption at that time. The island is currently uninhabited. According to the Smithsonian web site, the volcano has not previously erupted during historic times."

Doug Wiens - Washington Univ.
Allan Sauter - Scripps
Juan Camacho - CNMI EMO

Doug Wiens of Washington University in St. Louis, made a helicopter trip to the island on the 13 May and took the photos below. The left photo shows Anatahan from the south; the middle shows the deserted village, and the picture to the right is a view over the caldera.

Photo by Allan W. Sauter

Photo courtesy of Doug Wiens

Photo courtesy of Doug Wiens

Photo courtesy of Doug Wiens

In response to this unique event, the MARGINS Office organized the immediate dispatch of a team of volcanologists to sample the products of the ongoing eruption. David Hilton of Scripps Oceanographic Institution and Tobias Fischer of the University of New Mexico arrived to Saipan on Sunday, May 18th. Together with Juan Camacho (see photo to the right) from the Emergency Management Office in Saipan, they took a helicopter survey trip to Anatahan on Monday, May 19th. Photos below are from this trip.
Approaching the island from the south The meadow on the eastern part of the island where the group landed. In the enlarged photo (click on the picture above) a volcanic bomb falling out of the plume can clearly be seen.
Last updated Wednesday, January 19, 2005