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Tanna  |  Ambae  |  Karua  |  Ambrym  |  Lopevi  |  Gaua  |  Epi

Karua, a volcano born out of a cataclysmic event

After Kuwae: Karua 
Cyclic fumarole activity
  |  500 years of oral tradition

500 years of oral tradition

While civilisations possessing writing skills kept records of outstanding volcanic events in their history which can be read today, cultures with a purely oral tradition are nevertheless able to shed light on such events from the past, and help volcanologists piece together the region's history. The story of the explosion of Kuwae was handed down through the generations for over 500 years. The early missionaries were the first to write down the old tales, then came the archaeologists, who looked for (and found) supporting evidence and put a tentative date to the event. Finally, geologists were able to pinpoint the year of the cataclysm at 1452 AD.
It is quite likely that in the near future an island made up of ashes and rock will rise out of the water again to become a permanent feature of this part of Vanuatu.

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