Fuego volcano news & eruption update
Fuego volcano (Guatemala): strong eruptive phase, pyroclastic flows killing several people
Monday Jun 04, 2018 06:45 AM | BY: T
Pyroclastic flow from Fuego yesterday (user-submitted photo, author unknown)
Seismic signal FG3 station showing intermittent explosions and rockfalls
Thermal signal from Fuego during the past months (MODIS / Mirova)
A strong eruptive phase (paroxysm) occurred at the volcano yesterday (Sun 3 June). Lasting for about 16-17 hours until the evening, it generated ash clouds reaching up to 10 km, which drifted into westerly directions for more than 40 km, lava flows descending on the flanks, heavy ash fall in nearby areas and secondary mud flows triggered by strong rainfall.
Screenshot of Insivumeh's latest bolletin
Sadly, massive pyroclastic flows - fast-moving turbulent avalanches of gas and hot rock material - have claimed lives as well. Precise numbers are so far unclear, but may be in the range of dozens if not more, depending on varying local sources and estimates. From official side, at least 7 victims have been confirmed. All fatalities occurred as result of being engulfed in pyroclastic surges, it seems mainly on the eastern flank.
Civil protection has declared the highest alert level RED for the areas of Escuintla, Alotenango, Sacatepéquez, Yepocapa and Chimaltenango, while Escuintla is kept at the second highest, ORANGE. More than 3000 people are reported to have been evacuated and ash fall from the eruption has been affecting an area with a population of more than 1.5 million, roughly 10% of the country's population total.
According to CONRED, it was the second paroxysm of Fuego this year. For the past years, the volcano has been in constant activity characterized by intermittent mild to moderate strombolian and vulcanian explosions, which regularly increased to short-lived (1-3 days) phases of intense lava fountaining and or lava flow emission (the so-called paroxysms). This rhythmic behavior had been particularly clear during 2016-17, with approximately one paroxysm every 4 weeks, but become less pronounced since Oct-Nov last year.
Instead, the normal activity has been a bit higher overall, but more rarely increased into paroxysms, one in April and one now yesterday when it generated very strong explosions (up to 10 km altitude), and near-continuous, moderate to large pyroclastic flows that descended on all sides flanks of the volcano through all major ravines, namely the Seca, Ceniza, Mineral, Taniluya, Las Lajas and Barranca Onda ravines.
Moderate to strong ash fall was reported in in Chimaltenango, Sacatepéquez and Escuintla where it has been causing significant interruption to daily life.
The eruption has already ended. Activity abruptly decreased after 18:45 local time and returned to small to moderate intermittent explosions and minor rockfalls. Incandescence is visible at the crater, where fresh lava flows begin to cool.
Sunday, Jun 03, 2018
Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Sunday, May 20, 2018