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Fogo volcano
Stratovolcano 2829 m / 9,281 ft
Cape Verde, 14.95°N / -24.35°W
Current status: normal or dormant (1 out of 5)| Reports
Fogo volcano books
Fogo volcano eruptions:
2014-15, 1995, 1951
Typical eruption style:
unspecified
Last earthquakes nearby
Latest satellite images
 

Fogo volcano news & eruption updates

Fogo volcano (Cape Verde) activity update: decreasing lava effusion

Saturday Dec 27, 2014 15:44 PM | BY: T

The eruption of Fogo volcano and the 3 lava flows (North, South and West), and the location of the destroyed settlements. (Images: Theo Montrond via Involcan / editing and annotations: Culture Volcan)
The eruption of Fogo volcano and the 3 lava flows (North, South and West), and the location of the destroyed settlements. (Images: Theo Montrond via Involcan / editing and annotations: Culture Volcan)
According to local press, volcanologist João Fonseca, responsible for volcanic monitoring and equipment maintenance at Fogo volcano, mentioned that volcanic activity shows signs of decreasing and that the eruption could be approaching its end.
Still, the northern lobe of the recently active lava flow to the west remained active during the past days and smaller lobes advanced through more farm land in the Cova Tina area.

The eruption, worse than the 1995 one, has already had a severe short- and medium- to long-term impact on the island's economy and counts as one of the worst volcanic disasters in recent decades. On the positive side, at least, there were no fatalities.

- The short-term consequences are obvious: destruction of homes, infrastructure supporting tourism, agriculture (wine production, storage and processing facilities destroyed).
- The medium- and long-term consequences are diverse. The loss of fertile land decreases the ability of the caldera area to produce cultivated plants, such as beans, squash, grapes etc. Less surface is available as for livestock to feed on. This decreases drastically the number of people the land now can support in the long term - it will take many decades if not centuries for the lava flow to become fertile land again.
Tourism in turn could however profit from the changes the eruption has brought as a geological attraction.

Whether an acceptable economic balance can return to the inhabitants of the caldera will depend on a number of factors, such as:
- How investment, partly funded by donations collected during the crisis, will be used and how it will be prioritized based on a volcanic hazard model.
- The willingness of residents to return and rebuild.

If the villages of Portela and Bangaeira are reconstructed on the lava flow, there is a good chance that the next lava flow - which inevitably will occur in some time in the future, as Fogo continues to be a very active volcano - will choose a different path and spare them.
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Links / Sources:
Previous news
Active lava flow in the Cova Tina area west of the vents on 20 Dec (Image: Abraão Barbosa Vicente, via AVCAN)
Thursday, Dec 25, 2014
Lava effusion continues from the vents, while explosive activity there has more or less ended. ... [more]
Monday, Dec 22, 2014
The eruption continues its destructive work: the lava effusion from the vents remains at moderate intensity and feeds various active flows that spread in the Cha Caldera. ... [more]
Lava cascade during the Fogo eruption (Dec 2014) (copyright: Martin Rietze)
Friday, Dec 19, 2014
It seems that after a short period of quietening down (9-14 December) the Fogo eruption has regained its strength. This confirms our earlier report of increased emission of sulphur dioxide thought to indicate the rise of a new magma batch. ... [more]
MODIS hot spots at Fogo volcano during the past 2 days - note the strong decrease compared to the image for the past 7 days(MODVOLC, Univ. Hawaii)
Monday, Dec 15, 2014
Lava emission has slowed down a lot, sign the eruption could be over soon. ... [more]
Map of Fogo's lava flow as of 10 Dec 2014 (Copernicus)
Friday, Dec 12, 2014
Volcanic activity continues, but the advance of the lava flows has slowed down to approx. 5 meters per hour and it seems that the effusion rate has diminished. ... [more]
 

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