NWS monitoring NI volcanoes


With the eruption of the Taal Volcano in the Philippines last Sunday, the National Weather Service in Tiyan, Guam is keeping a close eye on the volcanic islands within the Marianas to monitor any signs of restiveness.

In a phone interview with NWS meteorologist Landon Aydlett, he said there are a number of volcanic islands and underwater volcanoes within the Marianas archipelago and that NWS has been keeping an eye out for any seismic activity in the Marianas. Fortunately, there have been no signs of imminent danger thus far, Aydlett said.

“We do have a number of volcanoes in the Northern Islands. Anatahan is a volcanic island as well as Pagan and there are a number of underwater seamounts through the Northern Mariana Islands. We’re watching for any kind of activity and, from time to time, we’ll see steam come out of Pagan Island, but it’s been a number of years since the last major eruption on Pagan or Anatahan, about 15 years ago, so volcanic activity is always something we have to look for but, as far as seeing any signs of imminent, dangerous eruptions in our region, we’re not seeing that at this point,” he said.

As for the eruption of Taal, Aydlett said there is no direct threat to Guam or the CNMI.

“All the ash and debris north of Luzon area, that’s kept well to our west and no threat to us,” he said.

However, NWS issued a press release stating that numerical forecast model trajectories show volcanic ash clouds in the mid- and upper atmosphere, or above 15,000 feet, that will disperse to the north and north-northeast over the northern Philippines and to the northeast out to sea. Volcanic debris in the lower atmosphere, or below 15,000 feet, will disperse to the southwest.

Because of this, the Marianas could see a light haze on Tuesday evening but NWS expects no issues for those with respiratory problems.

Aydlett mentioned that the volcanology agency in the Philippines continues to monitor the eruption and will warn is there is a possible volcanic tsunami.

“But that’s no threat to us. Any tsunami related to this eruption will be only in the Taal Lake in the Batangas province. That’s going to be confined only in that lake if something does occur of that nature,” he said.

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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