The arcuate islands of Neira and Lonthor, seen here looking east from the summit of Indonesia's Banda Api volcano, are remnants of two largely submarine calderas that preceded the construction of the Banda Api stratovolcano. The outer caldera has a diameter of 7 km, the nested inner caldera is 3 km wide. Neira, the largest town in the Banda Islands, occupies the southern tip of Neira Island.
Residents of Neira moved to the west side of the island on May 9, 1988, at the onset of the eruption of Banda Api, and began evacuating. Residents of nearby Gunung Api Island, where the eruption occurred, had been evacuated the previous two days. As many as 10,000 persons were evacuated during the eruption; the only people to lose their lives were four persons who disregarded evacuation orders.
An eruption of Indonesia's Banda Api volcano, seen here on May 10, 1988, took place from a N-SSW-trending fissure that cut across the island. Both explosive activity and lava effusion occurred along the fissure. Billowing, ash-rich eruption plumes rise from vents along the north-side fissure. Minor orange-colored lava fountaining can be seen here at the lower-center, near the north coast. White steam marks the entry of the Batu Angus lava flow into the sea after overrunning two villages.