Ethiopian Researchers Observe Nation’s Largest Volcanic Eruption – By Jason McLure (Bloomberg)

November 6th, 2008 Print Print Email Email

The Dalla Filla volcano in a remote area of northeastern Ethiopia erupted this week, spewing lava over tens of square miles in the biggest volcanic eruption in the country’s recorded history. (more…)

The Dalla Filla volcano in a remote area of northeastern Ethiopia erupted this week, spewing lava over tens of square miles in the biggest volcanic eruption in the country’s recorded history.

Ethiopian researchers working with scientists in the U.K. first detected the eruption on Nov. 3, Ghezahegn Yirgu, a geologist at Addis Ababa University, said by phone today from the capital. Officials have been sent to the Afar region to investigate the explosion, which was of a similar magnitude to eruptions of Mount Etna in Italy in May, he said.

“We have never heard of anyone observing anything like this here,” Yirgu said. “People heard loud noises and explosions from a distance and saw smoke and felt the ground shake.”

Dalla Filla is about 600 kilometers (373 miles) northeast of Addis Ababa and 20 kilometers north of the Erta Ale lava lake. It’s the third eruption in Ethiopia’s Afar region since 2005, Yirgu said.

Located in an arid section of northeastern Ethiopia and bordering both Eritrea and Djibouti, many of the Afar region’s inhabitants are semi-nomadic herders. A number of the world’s best-known fossils have been discovered in Afar, including one of the earliest ancestors of man, known as Lucy.

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