Eight Killed As Volcano Erupts Off Yemen|
Mohammed Ghobari | Sanaa, Yemen
01 October 2007 04:11
At least eight Yemeni soldiers were killed in
a volcanic eruption on an island off the country's
Red Sea coast, the government said on
The volcano erupted late on Sunday,
spewing lava hundreds of metres into the air.
Officials said earlier nine soldiers were missing.
"At least eight are regarded as dead now," a
government official said.
occurred on Jabal al-Tair, an island about 130km
Yemen has had a military base
on the island since its 1996 conflict with Eritrea
over the nearby islands of Hanish and Jabal
Al-Arabiya television quoted
witnesses as saying the island was engulfed in
fire and then disappeared.
"At least 49
soldiers were evacuated from the island," the
television said, according to the witnesses.
Yemeni officials were not available to confirm the
A Defence Ministry official said
the western part of the island had "collapsed"
following the eruption. He said naval ships were
searching the surrounding waters for nine missing
Yemeni soldiers who were stationed on the
Yemen's Oil Minister, Khaled
Mahfoudh Bahah, said several earthquakes felt on
Sunday had triggered the eruption.
earthquakes struck the island around 11.27am GMT
on Sunday, and were ranging between 4,3 and four
on the Richter scale," Jamal al-Shalaan, head of
the Yemeni Earthquake Centre, told the state news
President Ali Abdullah Saleh,
who flew to nearby Hudaidah port late on Sunday to
observe the situation, told the Yemeni navy to
send rescue teams, Saba reported.
Canadian frigate Toronto was conducting a
search-and-rescue operation at the request of the
Yemeni coast guard. The Nato fleet was sailing
north towards the Suez Canal at the time of the
eruption, the Canadian navy said in a
It said it was trying to locate
nine people believed to be at sea in the
Navy spokesperson Ken Allan told the
Canadian Press news agency that lava was spewing
hundreds of metres into the air, with volcanic ash
also rising 300m.
In an email from on board
the ship, he said the entire 3km-long island was
aglow with lava and pouring into the sea.
Yemeni geologist said the volcano had previously
erupted in the 19th and 18th centuries, Saba said.
Additional reporting by Diala Saadeh in
Original article: IMR Worldwide
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