- Toyko University reported that an 8.2 quake jolted eastern Indonesia on February 17, 1996, with 21
foot tidal waves. This was a quake in a formerly quake-quiet zone, leading the January, 1997 issue
of Discover magazine to quote geophysicist Emil Okal at Northwestern University, who stated that a
subduction process was just starting up.
- The Long Valley caldera at Mammoth Lake, California began acting up in mid February, 1996, per
the Berkeley seismic station.
- USGS statistics show that quakes in the 6.0-6.9 Richter Scale range have increased steadily since
1985 from a yearly average of 100 to161 in 1995-96, with an similar increase in deep quakes at the
550-650 km level from a yearly average of 138 to a count of 255 in 1995 and 271 well before the
end of 1996.
- On March 5, 1996, Komaga-Take, Hokkaido, Japan, erupted for the first time since 1929, per the
Tokyo Volcano Research Center.
- On April 2, 1996, Momotommbo, Nicaragua, reawakened with minor activity following an
earthquake. It last exploded in 1905.
- On May 26, 1996, fumarolic plumes rose 10,000 feet high over Sheveluch in Kamchatka, Russia,
inactive since 1993, per KVERT.
- On September 17, 1996, Amuka in the Aleutian Islands erupted for the first time since 1987, per the
Alaska Volcano Observatory.
- CNN reported on November 6, 1996 that the eruption of Iceland's Grimsvotn volcano melted the
Vatnajoskull Glacier, creating an immense wall of water rushing steadily into the sea.
- Active volcanoes are beginning to erupt without warning, as New Zealand's Ruapahu did in '96,
erupting violently just 2 days after geologists had reported that the danger was passed.
- Reuters reported on 11 Aug 96 that in the Philippines "Canlaon erupted without warning shortly
after 2 p.m. (2 a.m. EDT) sending a plume of ash soaring 5,000 feet skywards."
- Associated Press reported that significant earthquakes, those of magnitude 6.5 or better, increased
by 35% over the number recorded in 1995.
- In December, 1996, a seamount off McDonald Island southwest of Australia erupted, per the
Volcano Listserve, with pumice coming to the surface.
Below is the Quake Watch extreme quake and volcano activity as of the end of 1996.