Volcanic Eruption at Fuego in Guatemala Intensifies

September 14, 2012

Science

fuego-from-space

There has been renewed activity at Fuego in Guatemala. The eruption is becoming more intense, although news reports coming out of the region are unclear about what is exactly happening. Currently, 33,000 people have been evacuated.

Volcán de Fuego is an active stratovolcano in Guatemala, close to Antigua. It has frequently erupted over the last few centuries and it’s famous for being almost constantly active at a low level. A video taken of the activity showcases impressive ash plumes as well as pyroclastic flows from the volcano. The lava flows have moved down at least 2km from the summit, with intensified ash production, possibly caused by small collapses of volcanic material near the crater or coeval strombolian explosions.

fuego-volcano-plume

A large plume is shown spreading west from the volcano, and it will expand over the region. Guatemala City is close enough to be reached by the ash plume if the winds start to shift to the east. This is the second large eruption from Fuego this year. The last one happened in May, and it resulted in an impressive 5km ash plume, accompanied by lava and pyroclastic flows.

It is possible that a paroxysm of an eruption is taking place, with strong explosions and columns of ash. Cinders spewing from the volcano were setting a half-inch thick in some nearby places. Hot gases are rolling down the sides of the volcano, wreathed in ash and smoke.

ash-plumes-fuego

Guatemala’s aviation administration has suspended all flights form the southern city of Tapachula to Guatemala City. Rain has partly decreased the ash plume to a little more than a mile in height. Ash continues to fall heavily and residents near the volcano, but outside the evacuation zone, have to clean their water systems before using them and stay indoors.

[via Wired]

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One Response to “Volcanic Eruption at Fuego in Guatemala Intensifies”

  1. Stuart Says:

    Very interesting, and well wrote.

    Reply

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