24 Jan 2005

Anatahan volcano in CNMI looks as if it's dying down

6:32 am on 24 January 2005

Authorities in the Northern Marianas say Anatahan volcano looks as if it's dying down after a recent run of eruptions.

A joint report by emergency management officials and geological survey staff suggests explosions paused for eight hours last week; the longest period of calm since Anatahan burst back into life on the fifth of January.

The fiercest eruptions in the latest period of activity have seen ash shoot up to 4-thousand and a half metres, with satellite pictures showing the plume spreading 60 kilometres downwind, causing a hazard to aircraft.

The governor of Saipan, Juan Babauta, says the uninhabited island remains off-limit to visitors.

A group visited the island in October, a year after the volcano erupted for the first time in history.