Mount Yasur

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Mount Yasur
Mount Yasur eruption 2006, Tanna Island, Vanuatu, VAN 0516.jpg
Mount Yasur
Highest point
Elevation361 m (1,184 ft)[1]
Coordinates19°31′42″S 169°26′54″E / 19.52833°S 169.44833°E / -19.52833; 169.44833Coordinates: 19°31′42″S 169°26′54″E / 19.52833°S 169.44833°E / -19.52833; 169.44833
Mount Yasur is located in Vanuatu
Mount Yasur
Mount Yasur
Mountain typeStratovolcano
Last eruption1774 (possibly earlier) to 2022 (ongoing)[2]

Mount Yasur is a volcano on Tanna Island, Vanuatu, 361 m (1,184 ft) high above sea level,[2] on the coast near Sulphur Bay, northeast of the taller Mount Tukosmera, which was active in the Pleistocene. It has a largely unvegetated pyroclastic cone with a nearly circular summit crater 400 m in diameter.[1] It is a stratovolcano, caused by the eastward-moving Indo-Australian Plate being subducted under the westward-moving Pacific Plate. It has been erupting nearly continuously for several hundred years, although it can usually be approached safely. Its eruptions, which often occur several times an hour, are classified as Strombolian or Vulcanian. A large lava plain creeps across the valley at the base.[3]

The glow of the volcano was apparently what attracted Captain James Cook on the first European journey to the island in 1774. Today, the mountain is a sacred area for the John Frum cargo cult. Members of the cult revere John Frum, a deified messenger who foretold the bringing of wealth to the island by American forces, and believe he resides in Mount Yasur with his countrymen.[4] The village of Sulphur Bay, the center of the movement, claims the volcano as part of their territory.

Access restrictions[edit]

Mount Yasur is an easily accessible active volcano, and is a major Vanuatu tourist attraction.[5] The Vanuatu Government monitors the level of volcanic activity in the interests of the public, both tourists and locals alike. This monitoring is carried out by the Vanuatu Geo-Hazards Observatory.[6]

The importance of the volcano to Tanna's tourism industry has resulted in the local government creating levels to alert people. These levels range from 0-5 and notes that An eruption may occur at any level[7]

  • Level 0 - Normal
  • Level 1 - Signs of Volcanic Unrest
  • Level 2 - Major Unrest
  • Level 3 - Minor Eruption
  • Level 4 - Moderate Eruption
  • Level 5 - Very Large Eruption
Eruptions on Mount Yasur


  1. ^ a b "Yasur". Global Volcanism Program. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 2020-04-27.
  2. ^ a b "Yasur volcano". volcanodiscovery. 19 February 2018.
  3. ^ Robyn Harbour (5 August 2014). Beyond the Palm Trees. p. 30. ISBN 9780992519292.
  4. ^ "Mount Yasur". Atlas Obscura. Retrieved 2018-08-02.
  5. ^ "The incredible natural experiences you'll only find in Vanuatu". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
  6. ^ "Volcano Alert Level". Vanuatu Meteorology and Geohazards Department. 2019. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
  7. ^ "Volcanic Alert Level". Vanuatu Meteorology & Geo-Hazards Department. 2018. Retrieved 24 October 2018.

External links[edit]