Once again geology inadvertently plays a roll in current events. Aircraft remains that are likely from the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 washed up on the shores of Reunion, an island 700 km east of Madagascar. Unfortunately, the search has been halted by a volcano named Piton de la Fournaise erupting. The name of the volcano roughly translates into English as "pin of the furnace."
Piton de la Fournaise is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and has had long eruptions in the past. In 2006 the volcanic eruption spanned 6 months. The volcano is a shield volcano (meaning that it is very wide and has a very shallow slope) has effusive eruptions, meaning that it does not have violent eruptions. The eruptions from Piton de la Fournaise are very similar to the manner that the Hawaiian volcanoes erupt. The volcano gently spills out baslatic lava and is caused by a hot spot. Piton de la Fournaise has been active for the last 66 million years.
The island of Reunion has been evacuated because of its small size. Reunion is only about 60 x 60 km. It is likely that the wreckage search team will have to play this one by ear.