Yemen: At least eight missing soldiers following volcanic blast
A volcanic blast rocked a tiny Yemeni island in the Red Sea, spewing lava and ash hundreds of feet into the air and forcing Yemeni authorities to evacuate a military base. According to the AP, NATO and Yemeni ships Monday were searching for eight missing soldiers.
The eruption Sunday evening caused a landslide that collapsed the western part of Jabal al-Tair island, the Yemeni news agency SABA reported.
The tiny island, about two miles wide, lacks a settled population but includes military facilities used for naval control and observation because large cargo ships pass nearby.
SABA reported that Yemeni ships had evacuated all personnel and were searching for eight missing military personnel. A NATO fleet passing nearby reported seeing a "catastrophic volcanic eruption" at 7 p.m. local time Sunday on the island, about 70 miles off the Yemeni coast, said Ken Allan, a Navy Public Affairs with the Canadian Armed Forces.
"At this time, the entire island is aglow with lava and magma as it pours down into the sea," Allan conveyed to the AP. "The lava is spewing hundreds of feet into the air, with the volcanic ash also (rising) a thousand feet in the air."
The NATO fleet was sailing toward the Suez Canal when it spotted the eruption. The government of Yemen asked NATO to assist in the search for survivors.
The island last saw an explosive eruption in 1883, according to the Washington-based Smithsonian Institute's Global Volcanism Program.