Tavurvur is an active volcano on the island of New Britain in Papua New Guinea. Mount Tavurvur is the most active volcano in Rabaul caldera. The volcano nearly destroyed the nearby town of Rabaul on 19 September 1994 destroying Rabaul airport and covering Rabaul town with heavy ashfall.
Mount Tavurvur erupted off the coast of Papua New Guinea on August 29, 2014 creating a powerful shock-wave and sending rippling clouds through the air, before a sonic boom can be heard. A sonic boom is the sound associated with the shock waves created by an object, travelling through the air faster than the speed of sound.
The blast wave from the explosion of Mount Tavurvur is proof of the incredible story of the 1883 Krakatoa volcanic eruption. It is a legendary tale of the most destructive volcanic event in history!
The tale suggest that the sound made was so loud that it ruptured the eardrums of the people more than 60 km away, traveled the world four times and was heard 5 000 km in the distance.
Here is the video captured by Phil McNamara and posted on Abyssius YouTube channel. The eruption of the volcano itself starts at around 13-second mark and the boom is heard at about 25-second mark. The reaction of the people on the boat is priceless! Be sure to turn your volume.
That’s something you don’t see every day, seeing a shock-wave radiating outwards. Natural disasters are so beautiful, but also incredibly dangerous. I would’ve need a fresh pair of undies after watching this from the boat!
After listening to the sonic boom and the shock wave travel through the air, we had to ask ourselves, how far away this volcano was?
If we calculate how far the sound travels in 12.5 seconds – with the sound travelling at 34 meters per second – we can estimate that 12.5 seconds *340 meters/ equals 4250 meters. It is around 2.64 miles. It’s not that far when you put it in numbers isn’t it?
Each chunk of earth flying in the air on the video must have been at least the size of a 3 bedroom house. Just imagine if the boat was closer to the land. Holy smoking toledos!