Anatahan Eruption of May 11
June 11, 2003
The above photo was taken on the morning of May 11, 2003 and shows the initial eruption of Mt. Anatahan (2,585 ft or 788 m above sea level) in the Mariana Islands of the western Pacific Ocean. A team of scientists from the University of Washington (St. Louis) and the Scripps Institute of Oceanography installed a broad-band seismic station on this island (Anatahan) 5 days before the powerful eruption. We were sailing to Saipan (south of Anatahan) when Mt. Anatahan erupted for the first time in human memory. Fortunately, the few remaining islanders left Anatahan in February -- their village was directly downwind of this plume.