CNMI’S PAGAN VOLCANO POISED TO ERUPT

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CNMI’S PAGAN VOLCANO POISED TO ERUPT

SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, Dec. 8) – There are indications that Pagan Volcano in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands may erupt, warned the Emergency Management Office yesterday.

[PIR editor’s note: Pagan island is located north of Saipan in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands chain. Back in May, a visiting U.S. geologist said that one of the two volcanoes on Pagan, the site of a pozzolan mining project, was showing signs of activity again.]

Emergency Management Office raised the possibility of volcanic eruption based on information from the Washington Volcano Observatory that reported low level steam and ash emissions from Pagan.

Emergency Management Office said Pagan residents reported a 200-foot ash cloud, with ash falling like rain.

Pagan residents, however, did not feel any tremor and did not hear any explosions or rumblings. There are about 20 residents on Pagan.

Emergency Management Office said Pagan residents will experience sulfur-like odor and they are urged to minimize outdoor activities to prevent ailment due to the ash emission.

"Aircraft should remain alert for possible eruptions, steam, or ash clouds and report any sightings to Air Tower Control," the agency said.

The Emergency Management Office and the U.S. Geological Survey are monitoring Pagan activities.

Pagan Volcano last erupted in the late '80s, spewing out volcanic ash.

Another big explosion occurred in May 2003, with increased activity beginning March 2004.

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