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Pacaya volcano satellite image by (c) Google Earth View
Pacaya volcano satellite image by (c) Google Earth View
Pacaya volcano
Complex volcano 2552 m (8,373 ft)
Guatemala, 14.38°N / -90.6°W
Current status: erupting (4 out of 5)
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Pacaya volcano eruptions:
1360, 1565, 1623(?), 1651, 1655, 1664, 1668, 1671, 1674, 1677(?), 1678, 1690, 1693, 1699, 1717(?), 1760(?), 1775, 1805, 1830(?), 1846, 1885, 1961, 1965, 1970, 2972, 1973, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980 - May 1998 (intense period of summit activity), 1999-2003, 2004-2010, 2012, 2013, 2014
Typical eruption style:
Mildly explosive and effusive (Strombolian activity, lava fountaining, lava flows from the summit crater). Near continuously active the least during the past centuries.
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Volcano news: Pacaya (Guatemala)

Pacaya volcano (Guatemala): eruption update - two large lava flows close to villages

Saturday Jan 11, 2014 23:23 PM | BY: T

Map of the lava flows from Pacaya today (CONRED)
Map of the lava flows from Pacaya today (CONRED)
Lava flow from Pacaya following a trail (CONRED)
Lava flow from Pacaya following a trail (CONRED)
The southern fissure vent at the base of the south flank (at the crater, the dent from the 2010 paroxysm is visible) (CONRED)
The southern fissure vent at the base of the south flank (at the crater, the dent from the 2010 paroxysm is visible) (CONRED)
The northern fissure vent (CONRED)
The northern fissure vent (CONRED)
Lava flow burning forest (CONRED)
Lava flow burning forest (CONRED)
The ongoing eruption of the volcano involved the opening of at least two effusive fissure vents on the northern and southern base of the Mackenney cone (this info according to images and maps published by CONRED, although CONRED / INSIVUMEH at the same time report 3 vents on the east, west and south flank).
These fissures feed two large (and possibly one smaller third) lava flows that have reached lengths of 3-5 km length and are several hundred meters wide at their fronts (up to 800 m on the western side). The lava flows have burned extensive areas of farmland and woods and are close to some villages.
In the meantime, moderate to violent strombolian activity continues at the summit.
CONRED declared orange civil alert and started to evacuate families living in areas close to the volcano.
The lava flow from on the north side started from an eruptive fissure at approx 2250 m elevation on the flank of the cone, traveled north towards the caldera rampart of Cerro Chino and then turned left - west - when meeting the topographic obstacle. It is now close (less than 1 km) from the village El Patroncino and has a 500-800 m wide front.
On the southern side, a vent opened low at the base of the cone, at approx. 1880 m elevation, and started to feed a lava 200 m wide lava flow that seems to have reached about 5 km length near the Rincon de Pacaya area (part of Los Pocitos) on the SSW side.
At the moment, a decreasing tendency of tremor and activity is visible.
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Links / Sources:
Previous news
Seismic signal from Pacaya yesterday night and this morning (PCG station, INSIVUMEH)
Saturday, Jan 11, 2014
A strong increase in activity began last night at the volcano. Accompanied by steeply rising tremor, the so-far mild strombolian activity picked up to become intense enough to produce pulsating lava fountains that eject glowing material to several hundred meters height and is visible from tens of kilometers distance (e.g. the Pacific coast at 50 km to the west). ... [more]
Thursday, Jan 09, 2014
The volcano continues to be in mild strombolian activity at the Mackenney crater. [more]
Sunday, Jan 05, 2014
Mild strombolian activity continues with little changes. Incandescent ejections can be seen from the capital on clear nights. [more]
Degassing plume from Popocatépetl yesterday
Thursday, Jan 02, 2014
Mild stombolian activity with ejections to 10-50 m height above the new cone inside Mackenney crater continue at intervals of approx. 30 seconds. [more]
Tuesday, Dec 10, 2013
Judging from INSIVUMEH's brief daily report, strombolian activity has decreased as ejecta heights were described as 25 meters (vs 50 m previously). [more]

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