At least eight people were missing early today after a volcano erupted on an island off Yemen, shooting smoking lava hundreds of feet into the air and turning the sky black. A Canadian ship in a nearby NATO fleet was participating in a search-and-rescue operation in a hunt for the missing, believed to be at sea. A military garrison on the island of Jazirt Atta-Ir was being evacuated.
"There's still lava pouring off the island," said an Navy spokesman, who called the eruption "catastrophic." He said the northern side of the island was "nothing but glowing red molten lava" as it bubbled into the Red Sea.The island, about 85 miles south of Yemen, is in a major shipping lane. It's not generally inhabited but is the site of military installations.