Spectacular volcanic eruption at Eritrea: last eruption was 1861

Last night’s quake swarm evidently did trigger or was a precursor to a volcanic eruption at Eritrea. There are several volcanoes in that region, though Nabro is said to have never erupted and Dubbi last erupted in 1861. The volcanoes in that area have been quiet ever since. Until last night. Here is the progression of the news:

Eritrea quakes
“A series of moderate earthquakes struck the Eritrea – Ethiopia border region on Sunday evening, seismologists said, but it was not immediately known if there was damage or if there were casualties. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) reported a total of 14 light to moderate earthquakes in the border area on Sunday evening, with the strongest being two 5.7-magnitude earthquakes which were both centered in Eritrea.”

Seismologists, volcanologists, and knowledgeable laymen immediately noticed the unusual nature of these quakes. They were strong, and they were occurring in a pattern that suggested a circle around a known volcanic region.

Then people noticed what looked to be an ash plume forming, seen in successive satellite photos. The cloud seemed to be stationed over one area, but grow over time, lengthening in the all-too-familiar plume formation. It looked for all the world like an ash plume, not a thunderstorm. But how can this be? The area was thought to be fairly dormant for volcanoes?

Getting news from the area was difficult because of the nature of the remoteness and lack of infrastructure to disperse news quickly. The quakes were a fact, confirmed on USGS and EMSC. Whether these quakes were related to the Nabro or Dubbi volcanoes, I was not sure. I went to bed.

This morning, the net was alive with stories swirling about this unusual event. It WAS a volcanic eruption!! Irish Weather Online explains:

Major Eruption Of Nabro Volcano In Eritrea
“The Anabro (Nabro) volcano in the Northern Red Sea Region of Eritrea in Africa has erupted sending an ash plume more than 15 kilometres into the sky. Part of the Afar Triangle, the stratovolcano is one of many volcanic caldera complexes in the north easternmost part of the East African Rift valley region. It is located in the Danakil Depression, close to Eritrea’s border with Ethiopia and north of Djibouti, and has not erupted in at least 150 years.”

“The volcano erupted at 2103 GMT Sunday evening. The Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) said Monday that the 5,331 ft volcano has resulted in a large ash plume of up to 8 miles high. The eruption was preceded by seven moderate earthquakes yesterday afternoon. A 5.6 magnitude quake at 9.03 signalled the start of the eruption. The quake was centred 48 km south of the town of Edd (pop 11,259) and 199 km southwest of the city of Al-h’udaydah (pop 617,871). A 4.6 magnitude quake followed less than 35 minutes later.”

“The ash cloud from the volcano could potentially cause some disruption to air traffic in the region. According to Irish Weather Online senior forecaster Peter O’Donnell, the ash cloud is heading west towards Sudan. “The eruption happened in Nabro, a stratovolcano that has not erupted in historic times. (some early reports mention Dubbi or Dubbo to the north but satellite imagery confirms the source as Nabro). Potentially, there could be impacts on visibility and optics over at least parts of southern Europe and west Africa, the Middle East … but there would be no direct impacts on Ireland from present information.” The largest known historical eruption in Africa occurred on May 1861 when the Dubbi volcano, also located in Eritrea, showered maritime traffic in the Red Sea with pumice and plunged coastal settlements into darkness.”

The volcanism blog has the more scientific facts–

Ash cloud from Eritrean volcano Dubbi, erupted June 12

Volcanism blog: plume picture
A significant eruption is evidently under way at Dubbi volcano (although there is still some doubt about the precise identity of the volcano involved) in Eritrea, north-east Africa. An earthquake swarm occurred during during the evening of 12 June, with moderate quakes followed by two strong quakes of magnitude 5.7, all around 10 km depth:
12 June 2011 15:37UTC: mag 5.1 Eritrea-Ethiopia region (USGS info)
12 June 2011 19:21UTC: mag 5.0 Ethiopia (USGS info)
12 June 2011 20:32UTC: mag 5.7 Eritrea-Ethiopia region (USGS info)
12 June 2011 21:03UTC: mag 5.7 Eritrea-Ethiopia region (USGS info)

“A volcanic eruption appears to have begun around the time of the last 5.7M earthquake, at about 21:00 UTC. Toulouse VAAC identified the volcano as Dubbi and issued two Volcanic Ash Advisories so far for this eruption today: at 04:00 UTC the eruption was reported to have started at 23:00 UTC on 12 June 2011, and to have produced a plume between FL150/300 (15,000-30,000 feet/4,500-9,000 metres altitude), while at 06:00 UTC the volcano was described as being in ‘continuous emission’ with ash at FL300 (30,000 feet/9,000 metres altitude) and trending W/WNW.”

“Dubbi was responsible for the largest known volcanic eruption in Africa in historical time, in 1861: more than 100 people were killed, ash fell more than 300 km from the volcano and the lava flows travelled 22 km and reached the Red Sea. Other possible candidates for the current eruption include Nabro and Mallahle.  UPDATE. Thanks to Clive Oppenheimer of Cambridge University (via Earthquake-Reports) we have a useful news report from the Cambridge Geography Department site related to Clive’s Eruptions that Shook the World book: Eruption in Eritrea, 12 June 2011. ‘Loud explosions were heard in Afdera, across the border in Ethiopia, and ashfall is reported as far as Mekele in Tigray province’ … the identity of the volcano is still to be confirmed – Nabro or Dubbi?”

That is the news, and those are the scientific facts. Here is the biblical fact: Jesus said that the time between His ascension and the time He came back would be like birth pangs. We know that birth pains grow from almost unnoticed, to very frequent and painful. Then the rapture would happen and the Tribulation would begin. Jesus still has 7 years in the Decree stated in Daniel to work with His people the Jews. In that 7 year period he would punish them for their transgressions, and do 5 other things. Here is the link to the passage in Daniel 9:20-27 which explains the Lord’s purpose for the Tribulation.

We, the Church, have had our sins wiped away, they are remembered no more (Colossians 1:22; Colossians 2:14). Therefore we are not to be punished (Acts 3:19), nor are we appointed to wrath. The Tribulation’s wrath is stated to begin in Revelation 6 with the opening of the seals.

In explaining all this, Jesus sat down with His disciples at the Mount of Olives and answered their questions about the signs of the end of the age. Jesus said that one of those signs would be earthquakes in diverse places. I think a sudden and powerful volcanic eruption coming out of nowhere and the first in recent history qualifies as diverse.

Even more prophetically, the nations in that area are part of coming events. In Ezekiel 38-39 it is explained that an alliance of nations attack Israel- and almost win. This alliance includes Iran, Russia, Turkey, Armenia, and the northern tier of Africa, where these quakes were and eruption was. Ethiopia, Libya, Sudan, are all mentioned. The larger context is that Cush and Put are the regions that will join with Iran to attack Israel, and those include larger territories than the nations’ borders of today. In effect, the northern tier of Africa decides to join with Russia and Iran and go against God’s people in an evil attempt to wipe them out and steal their riches. This is known as the Gog-Magog battle and though the timing of it is not stated n the bible from other events that occur before and after, we can put it in a general time of this battle being the gateway to the Tribulation.

While I was watching the Eritrea event occur last night, there was a powerful quake at Christchurch, New Zealand, and the Chilean volcano erupted again, sending the lower part of the world into a frenzy due to airplane flight cancellations because of ash. The birth pangs are occurring so frequently now that they overlap, and their increasing impact on the world is incredible. I feel that the time is so short that we may even hear the trumpet and the call to “Come up here!” any moment. Surely the time is near. Please repent, please seek Jesus as your savior and your Lord. Your eternal destiny depends on it.