Le Piton de la Fournaise, one of the most active volcanoes in the world and a main tourist attraction on the Réunion island, was evacuated Thursday as authorities warned of an imminent eruption.
Reunion island is where debris believed to be from the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 was found on Wednesday.
Aviation experts and investigators have expressed near certainty that the piece of barnacle-encrusted debris came from Flight 370, which disappeared 16 months ago while carrying 239 people from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
The Reunion Island government imposed a ban on access to the Piton de la Fournaise volcano, including by helicopter, after an eruption at 10am local time Friday, according to media reports. It ranks with other active volcanoes in Hawaii, Italy and Antarctica.
As the eruption continued today, the discovery of two Chinese-branded water bottles and a cleaning product from Indonesia near where the plane part was discovered made third place on L’info’s website.
“This is a long eruptive fissure because at the surface it is about [0.62 miles] long”, explained Aline Peltier, a scientist at the Piton de la Fournaise Volcano Observatory.
“It is a spectacular sight”. Naturally, something so majestic as a volcano eruption cannot leave anybody completely unimpressed, but since many Reunion citizens have lived there all their lives, they now know what to do in case of a new eruption and so they can act fast, so that nobody gets hurt. Usually after a day we only have one.
The volcano is not seen as unsafe because the lava flows down the east side of the mountain through an uninhabited area called the Grand Brule, or the Big Burned, toward the sea. “The molten lava shoots up into the air like a fountain”, whispered Yannick Parrel, a thirty-year-old helicopter pilot who flies tourists over Reunion’s captivating landscape in a tour that typically ends with a broad circle around the volcano’s caldera. The last times the volcano threatened the population was in 1977 and 1986.
Piton de la Fournaise is also incredibly useful for research, because the high frequency of eruptions provides locals with extensive research material.
“The Peak of the Furnace” has been spewing out more gases than usual.
ERUPTION Le Piton de la Fournaise is set to blow ruining MH370 plans