Papua New Guinea eruption caught on camera
Sunday, September 7, 2014, 1:11 PM - "Watch out for the shock, it's coming," says Phil McNamara as the volcano in the video above blows its top.
The volcano, Mt. Tavurvur in Papua New Guinea, doesn't disappoint. You can watch the shockwave sweep low-lying clouds from the skies, before impacting the boat McNamara's group was on several seconds later, as the eruption sends lava and ash jetting into the air.
McNamara, who works as a taxi driver in Townsville, Queensland, shot the video on August 29, was on vacation with his wife Linda when they managed to score a boat trip to the volcano.
"We saw it erupting and the ladies from Kokopo Beach Bungalows where we were staying said they could take us out on the boat to get a closer look," McNamara told the Brisbane times. "I thought I might as well try and capture something you rarely get to see."
His wife posted it to her Facebook page, and from there it went viral.
Mt. Tavurvur has been active for thousands of years, and it's a stone's throw away from the town of Rabaul, which was founded by German colonists back in 1910. They probably should have maybe spent a bit more time surveying the area, because Taburvur didn't take long to blow, wrecking the small town in 1937 with an eruption that killed 500 people.
Another eruption in 1994, in conjunction with a blast from nearby Mt. Vulcan, destroyed around two-thirds of the town, although NASA says a quick evacuation plan kept the death toll down to just five individuals.
The volcano erupted again last week, forcing the evacuation of local communities according to the BBC. It's weak compared to past eruptions, but it's spewed plenty of ash into the air. This side-by-side comparison from NASA Earth Observatory shows how extensive the ash field is after only a few days.
ERUPTION: Watch below for shots of the volcano as it blew its top last weekend.