San Miguel volcano (El Salvador): new eruption

Tue, 31 Dec 2013, 06:21
06:21 AM | BY: T
Eruption plume from today's explosion at San Miguel (photo: La Prensa Grafica)
Eruption plume from today's explosion at San Miguel (photo: La Prensa Grafica)
Ash fall in San Jorge (La Prensa Grafica)
Ash fall in San Jorge (La Prensa Grafica)
Aqua/MODIS image of the eruption plume from San Miguel in El Salvador, seen on December 29, 2013. Image: NASA, rectified by Nahum Chazarra.
Aqua/MODIS image of the eruption plume from San Miguel in El Salvador, seen on December 29, 2013. Image: NASA, rectified by Nahum Chazarra.
Seismic signal (29 Dec) during the eruption (LYC station, MARN)
Seismic signal (29 Dec) during the eruption (LYC station, MARN)
Part of the hazard map of San Miguel (MARN)
Part of the hazard map of San Miguel (MARN)
The new eruption that occurred at the volcano Sunday (29 Dec) morning at 10:50 am local time has so far been an isolated single explosion of vulcanian type (accumulated pressure ejecting the plug in the conduit). Current seismic activity is low, but more activity could follow.
The explosion produced an ash plume of considerable (3-8 km) height, reaching estimated altitudes of 5-10 km. Heavy ash fall followed the eruption in nearby areas downwind, such as in the towns of Chinameca and San Jorge to the west. Civil Protection immediately began to evacuate families residing in a radius of 3 km around the volcano. So far, more than 5000 persons have been ordered to evacuate.
The following video from MARN's webcam shows the onset of the powerful explosion, accompanied by a (fortunately only) small pyroclastic flow (starting a 8sec):

The second largest city of the country, San Miguel de la Frontera (approx. 250,000 inhabitants) is located only 7 km NE of the volcano and could be at risk if the eruption continues and starts to produce pyroclastic flows (see hazard map of MARN).
Satellite images showed the plume shortly after the explosion stretching over approx. 150 km length.
Seismic data showed a steep increase in earthquake activity starting at 06:30 local time. After the explosion, seismic activity dropped again, suggesting that

Previous news

Wed, 25 Dec 2013, 06:00
According to news articles, an explosive eruption at San Miguel that began at 1030 on 29 December prompted an evacuation of 1,400-2,600 people. A dense ash plume rose from the crater. Based on wind data, the Washington VAAC reported that the ash plume rose to an altitude of 9.7 km (32,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted ENE at higher altitudes and W at lower altitudes. ... Read all
Sat, 6 Apr 2013, 15:08
Current seismic recording from San Miguel (VSM station, SNET)
Volcanic earthquakes embedded in weak tremor remain frequent. ... Read all
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