jump to navigation

Tungurahua update, 4 February 2010 4 February 2010

Posted by admin in activity reports, Ecuador, eruptions, Tungurahua.
Tags: , , ,
comments closed

Tungurahua: the entire flanks of the volcano covered in incandescent material, 26 January 2010, 19:37 (P. Ramon, Instituto Geofisico)
Tungurahua: the entire flanks of the volcano covered in incandescent material, 26 January 2010, 19:37 (P. Ramón, Instituto Geofísico).

Activity at Tungurahua has been following a fairly set pattern over the past few days, with constant explosions, frequent ashfall, and lahars following heavy rains. The volcano’s seismic activity continues at a ‘moderate to high level, with a tendency to increase’, reports Ecuador’s Instituto Geofísico in its daily bulletin for 3 February 2010 (PDF). Ashfall has been taking place to the west of Tungurahua, in the areas of Manzano and Choglontus. Roaring noises and explosions of moderate intensity have been reported, and the volcanological observatory at Guadelupe had its windows rattled. Some lahars occurred on the flanks of the volcano following rains overnight, and the Riobamba-Baños road was closed by mudflows.

Tungurahua: lava fountain activity at night, 26 January 2010, 20:04 (P. Ramon, Instituto Geofisico)
Tungurahua: lava fountain activity at night, 26 January 2010, 20:04 (P. Ramón, Instituto Geofísico).

The most recent special bulletin for Tungurahua, no. 4 of 29 January 2010 (PDF), reported that following the rapid increase in the intensity of Tungurahua’s activity from the beginning of the year, activity declined from 15-23 January. On 24 January this calmer period came to an end with the explosions ‘becoming much more energetic and full of ash, which was accentuated on 27 and 28 January, causing concern throughout the area’. Ash columns reached 3 km altitude, and varying levels of ashfall occurred around the volcano. Sulphur dioxide emission levels reached 1000 tonnes/day, ‘indicating the active degassing of the magmatic body responsible for the current activity’. Since that bulletin there has been a slight decrease in the intensity of Tungurahua’s activity, but there is no sign of the current eruptive cycle ending and the Instituto Geofísico expects more upswings in activity over the next few days and weeks.

The National Assembly of Ecuador has voted to declare an ‘exceptional situation’, which isn’t quite a state of emergency, in the provinves of Chimborazo, Cotopaxi, Tungurahua and Bolívar because of the damaging effects of Tungurahua’s current activity and also of a drought which has affected the area for nearly a year. The main aim of the measure is to provide assistance to farmers whose livelihoods are suffering, although what concrete form such assistance might take is far from clear.

For all our Tungurahua coverage: Tungurahua « The Volcanism Blog.

News
El volcán ecuatoriano Tungurahua registra una actividad sísmica ascendente – Agencia EFE, 2 February 2010
Estado de excepción para la Sierra centro por volcán TungurahuaEl Comercio, 2 February 2010
Asamblea Nacional pide estado de excepción para provincias de Chimborazo, Bolívar, Tungurahua y Cotopaxi – ANDES, 2 February 2010

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Tungurahua – summary information for Tungurahua (1502-80=)
Instituto Geofísico (Escuela Politecnica Nacional) – Geophysical Institute of Ecuador

The Volcanism Blog

Tungurahua update, 14 January 2010 14 January 2010

Posted by admin in activity reports, Ecuador, eruptions, Tungurahua, volcano monitoring.
Tags: , , , ,
comments closed

Yesterday’s daily bulletin (PDF) from the Ecuadorian Instituto Geofísico reports a continuing increase in the level of activity at Tungurahua:

In a manner similar to preceding days the activity of the volcano has continued to increase. In the last few hours there has been a greater number of explosions considered moderate to large in size, which have generated emissions columns of approximately 3 km in height and with high ash content. Interspersed with these events, the constant presence of an emissions column of less than 2 km and with moderate ash content has been observed. Reports have been received of ashfall in some nearby towns located to the west and south-west of the volcano.

The bulletin reports 11 long period earthquakes, 33 episodes of tremor and 83 moderate to large explosions over the preceding 24 hours. Constant roars and rumbles have been occurring, ‘interspersed with cannonades that in some cases make windows vibrate’. Incandescent blocks were ejected from the summit crater and lava fountains were observed overnight, with the latter reaching 500 m above the crater and projecting material 800 m down the flanks of the volcano.

‘The monitoring of the volcano is in trouble’, says the headline in El Comercio , which reports that power cuts are causing problems for the Instituto Geofísico station at Guadelupe which co-ordinates the monitoring of Tungurahua. A failure at the local electricity plant on Saturday caused a power cut which forced the station to rely on a gasoline-drive generator which worked for only half an hour; at this point the local fire chief came to the rescue with another generator. The Instituto Geofísico has asked the provincial governor, who also chairs the Tungurahua Emergencies Committee, to ensure that the electricity company provides reliable power to the monitoring station. Meanwhile ashfall continues to cause problems for local agriculture: ‘the dust that fell in recent days is thick and white,’ says José Cuica, a farmer from El Manzano. ‘I’m screwed. You can’t shift the ash. There will be no harvest’. Local authorities in northern Penipe are preparing for an increase in Tungurahua’s activity: El Universo says that an emergency plan is in place for the city of Riobamba, but reports that the alcaldes of Riobamba and Penipe have expressed doubt that the National Government really understands how serious the situation is, or has the necessary structures in place to provide help where it is needed.

For all our Tungurahua coverage: Tungurahua « The Volcanism Blog.

News
El monitoreo del volcán tiene líosEl Comercio, 14 January 2010
En Riobamba preparan plan de prevenciónEl Universo, 14 January 2010
Autoridades insisten en emergencia por volcánEl Universo, 14 January 2010

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Tungurahua – summary information for Tungurahua (1502-80=)
Instituto Geofísico (Escuela Politecnica Nacional) – Geophysical Institute of Ecuador

The Volcanism Blog

Tungurahua update, 13 January 2010 13 January 2010

Posted by admin in activity reports, Ecuador, Tungurahua.
Tags: , ,
comments closed

The Instituto Geofísico has issued a new special bulletin (PDF), reporting that ‘activity at Tungurahua volcano continues to increase, especially in the last 24 hours’. The bulletin notes that seismic tremor, gas and ash emissions and strombolian activity have all increased:

At a superficial level an increase in the number of explosions has been observed, some of them sufficiently intense to be audible in the cities of Ambato and Baños; the emissions columns are of greater size, some reaching 3 km above the crater, at the same time their ash content has increased and consequently there has been an increase in ash falls, especially on the flanks of the south-western sector of the volcano; last night and early this morning sustained lava fountains were observed, that is, ejection of incandescent material from the crater, reaching heights of up to 1000 m and projecting onto the flanks of the volcano up to distances of more than 1.5 km from the crater rim; equally, the detection seismic tremor has increased substantially, recording bands with a duration of several hours when ejection of volcanic material occurs, accompanied by intense rumbles heard in locations as distant as Riobamba, Mocha and Ambato; on 8 January instruments around the volcano detected the presence of some 7,500 tonnes of sulphur gas in the emission columns, compared with values during preceding weeks of around 100-200 tonnes/day.

Field observations have revealed that around 5 mm of ash had fallen up to 10 January in Cahuají and Choglontús, with lesser accumulations in surrounding areas, and slight falls in more distant places such as Riobamba and Penipe. If ashfall continues to increase, warns the bulletin, ‘it will doubtless produce a short-term impact on the livestock and agricultural sectors, and in the medium and long term on the health of people in the affected areas’. Increased ash and lava block accumulation also raises the risk of lahars.

The Instituto Geofísico notes that during the latter half of 2008 the volcano displayed activity similar to that of the present time, and that the level of activity increased up to the end of that year but subsequently decreased by mid-January 2009 and did not progress to a larger-scale eruption.

In agricultural areas to the south-west of Tungurahua, ashfall is already causing severe problems. El Comercio reports that crops are being damaged and animals are unable to feed on pasture covered with ash. Farmers who have invested in animals, seed corn and new planting during the last few months now face the prospect of losing their livelihoods because of the reactivation of the volcano. The local authorities of affected areas are asking the National Government for financial and material assistance, say reports in Diario Hoy and El Universo, while people living around the volcano are seeking assurances that there will be sufficient police to guard their properties if they have to evacuate.

For all our Tungurahua coverage: Tungurahua « The Volcanism Blog.

News
La caída de ceniza aumenta en 2 comunasEl Comercio, 12 January 2010
Tungurahua: ceniza empieza a dañar las frutasDiario Hoy, 12 January 2010
Alcaldes de zonas cercanas a volcán piden emergenciaEl Universo, 12 January 2010

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Tungurahua – summary information for Tungurahua (1502-80=)
Instituto Geofísico (Escuela Politecnica Nacional) – Geophysical Institute of Ecuador

The Volcanism Blog

Tungurahua’s restlessness continues 12 January 2010

Posted by admin in activity reports, Ecuador, Tungurahua.
Tags: , ,
comments closed

Activity at Ecuador’s Tungurahua volcano ‘continues at an activity considered as moderate, with a tendency to increase’, reports the Instituto Geofísico in its bulletin for 11 January 2010 (PDF).

Superficially the activity is characterized by the expulsion of incandescent material in the form of blocks and lava fountains, the constant generation of emission columns with a moderate to low ash content and constant roars of varying intensity, some of which have been audible in the city of Ambato. Reports of moderate falls of ash have been received from villages located to the west and south-west of the volcano. The presence of a thin layer of ash is reported from the city of Riobamba.

The Instituto Geofísico reports that ash columns from Tungurahua have been reaching a maximum altitude of 3 km. Explosions from Tungurahua have been shaking windows and waking local residents 20 km south-west of the volcano, in the canton of Penipe, El Comercio reports. Hugo Yépez, director of the Instituto Geofísico, is reported in El Tiempo to have called Tungurahua’s current activity ‘rising, but not yet at alarming levels’. Instituto Geofísico personnel have been touring villages around the volcano, advising on how local residents should respond if the activity increases, but the process does not seem to have been solely one-way, as the experts seem to have been listening to Tungurahua’s neighbours as well as talking to them: ‘the inhabitants are our best eyes, they are aware of the activity changing, even though we constantly monitor the volcano’, says Yépez. The volcanologists also rely on a network of 15 observers resident in high risk areas around the volcano established by the Comité de Operaciones de Emergencia de Tungurahua. These observers urgently need new communications equipment now that the volcano is active again, according to a report in El Comercio.

For all our Tungurahua coverage: Tungurahua « The Volcanism Blog.

News
Más explosiones en el TungurahuaEl Comercio, 11 January 2010
Vulcanólogo: No se puede precisar actividad del TungurahuaEl Universo, 11 January 2010
Los vigías del Tungurahua necesitan mejores equiposEl Comercio, 11 January 2010
Tungurahua tiene en alerta a pobladoresEl Tiempo, 12 January 2010

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Tungurahua – summary information for Tungurahua (1502-80=)
Instituto Geofísico (Escuela Politecnica Nacional) – Geophysical Institute of Ecuador

The Volcanism Blog

Tungurahua shows signs of awakening 8 January 2010

Posted by admin in activity reports, Ecuador, Tungurahua.
Tags: , , ,
comments closed

For Tungurahua volcano in Ecuador, one of the most active volcanoes in South America, 2009 was a relatively quiet year of rumbles and roars, occasional crater incandescence, and periodic plumes and ashfall. The new year of 2010, however, has brought clear signs of an awakening of Mama Tungurahua.

A gradually declining trend in activity was evident at Tungurahua from the summer of 2009 onwards, but that has now clearly come to an end. The Instituto Geofísico of Ecuador published a special bulletin on 7 January 2010 (PDF) reporting that this trend reversed in mid-late December, and that there has been a marked increase in activity since 30 December 2009:

30 December 2009 – long-period earthquake followed by fumarolic activity with a steam plume reaching 300 metres above the crater.

1 January 2010 – beginning of emissions with low ash content, accompanied by rumbles that have gradually increased their intensity.

3 January 2010 – crater glow visible, lava fountaining begins, with the projection of incandescent material onto the upper slopes and intense rumbling sounds

4 January 2010 – increased ash emissions with eruption columns reaching as high as 2 km above the crater, ashfall reported to the west.

The bulletin also reports that seismic activity has continually increased since 31 December 2009, with numerous periods of tremor accompanying ash emissions, and sulphur dioxide emissions have also increased to 3,200 tonnes/day on 6 January 2010, ‘ten times the values recorded during the preceding weeks and months’. Overall, the Instituto Geofísico warns of further increases in activity, including increased ash emissions, over the next few days:

It is evident that the volcano has begun a new cycle of activity; the changes experienced have been shown in a rapid way, different to that seen on previous occasions when to generate the seismic activity that has been shown in the last 24 hours the volcano had to ‘work’ for weeks and months. In any case the activity occurring both at the surface and internally is considered to be at moderate levels but with clear signs that it is increasing.

Volcanologists have warned that substantial ash emissions, on a scale similar to those of summer 2006, cannot be ruled out. Heavy ashfall would have a damaging impact on agriculture, and local farmers and civic leaders are worried. Local communities are making preparations to deal with increased activity from Tungurahua, with efforts being made to stock up on face-masks and medical supplies and to prepare emergency shelters in the provinces of Tungurahua and Chimborazo.

News
Las emisiones de ceniza y gases aumentan en el TungurahuaEl Comercio, 5 January 2010
Rápido incremento de actividad de volcán TungurahuaEl Universo, 7 January 2010
El cantón Penipe en alerta por el volcán TungurahuaDiario Los Andes, 7 January 2010
Autoridades alerta con el despertar del TungurahuaLa Hora, 7 January 2010

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Tungurahua – summary information for Tungurahua (1502-80=)
Instituto Geofísico (Escuela Politecnica Nacional) – Geophysical Institute of Ecuador

The Volcanism Blog

Tungurahua update 22 December 2008

Posted by admin in activity reports, Ecuador, eruptions, Tungurahua.
Tags: , , , ,
comments closed

Tungurahua volcano in Ecuador has been fairly calm since its flurry of activity in the summer, maintaining a low level of activity characterized by low seismicity and emissions of gas and water vapour. On 15 December the Ecuadorian Instituto Geofísico reported in their Special Bulletin No. 19 (PDF) that there had been a slight rise in activity. Increased seismicity in the form of continuous tremor was registered from 1640 local time on 15 December, and ash emissions intensified, with an ash column that quickly reached 1km altitude and dispersed towards the north-east. Ashfall was reported in towns and villages to the north-east, and incandescent blocks were observed being erupted from the crater at the times of increased ash emission. The bulletin notes that this level of activity is relatively low, below that recorded in February, May and July 2008.

On 19 December a further Tungurahua Special Bulletin, No. 20 (PDF), was issued by the Instituto Geofísico. This reported a continuing increase in the levels of seismic activity and the occurrence of strombolian activity, explosions, and eruption columns of up to 6km altitude. Light ashfall took place south-west of the volcano, and roaring sounds have been heard. At present the Instituto Geofísico interprets ‘the new pulse of activity as related to an injection of magma that through the ascent of its gases has disrupted the remnant of magma located in the upper part of the volcano’, and anticipates that the activity of recent days – incandescence, strombolian activity, roaring sounds and eruption columns with variable ash content – will continue over the short term. Any longer-term forecast, they say, would be ‘premature’.

The new activity is causing concern among local inhabitants, reports El Comercio, with farmers requesting that the government provides emergency food supplies for livestock and distributes protective masks and medicines to populations affected by ashfall.

For all our Tungurahua coverage: Tungurahua « The Volcanism Blog.

News
El volcán Tungurahua registró nuevas explosionesEl Comercio, 21 December 2008 (Spanish)
Aumentaron explosiones del TungurahuaEl Universo, 21 December 2008 (Spanish)

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Tungurahua – summary information for Tungurahua (1502-80=)
Instituto Geofísico (Escuela Politecnica Nacional) – Geophysical Institute of Ecuador

The Volcanism Blog

Tungurahua update, 23 June 2008 23 June 2008

Posted by admin in activity reports, Ecuador, Tungurahua.
Tags: , , ,
comments closed

The most recent daily report (PDF) on the activity of Tungurahua was issued by the Instituto Geofísico, Ecuador, yesterday, 22 June 2008. It tells the same basic story as the reports for the last two weeks, with activity remaining at generally low levels, with episodes of elevated activity:

In the last 24 hours two new pulses of activity were recorded at Tungurahua. The first occurred between 1530 and 1740 and the second between 1832 and 2130, These pulses of consisted of strong emissions of ash which reached a maximum altitude of 6km and were directed to the west, causing heavy ashfall in the towns of Bilbao, Manzano and Choglontus. Also from 0040 today mudflows occurred in all the streams of the western flank.

These most recent eruptive episodes were accompanied by significant seismic activity, with 20-30 LP earthquakes and emission tremors. The ashfall to the west of the volcano is reported to have been ‘grey in colour, with coarse grain’. Between 2130 on 21 June and 0200 yesterday the volcano’s activity was characterized by episodes of LP tremor accompanied by emissions of steam with low ash content, reaching a maximum height of 1km, and loud rumbling sounds which made windows and floors vibrate in nearby towns to the west. All this counts as relatively minor activity, but it is of course no minor matter for Tungurahua’s neighbours, having to put up with regular and often heavy ashfall and the uncertainty as to what the volcano may do next.

On 22 June Washington VAAC was reporting ongoing emissions at Tungurahua, with a plume 3 nautical miles wide reaching 24000ft; ongoing emissions were reported until this morning, but this afternoon at 1417 UTC the latest advisory was reporting no ash emission from Tungurahua.

For all our Tungurahua coverage: Tungurahua << The Volcanism Blog

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Tungurahua – summary information for Tungurahua (1502-80=)
Instituto Geofísico (Escuela Politecnica Nacional) – Geophysical Institute of Ecuador

The Volcanism Blog

Tungurahua update, 16 June 2008 16 June 2008

Posted by admin in activity reports, Ecuador, Tungurahua, volcanoes.
Tags: , , ,
comments closed

Ecuador’s Instituto Geofísico (IG) reports in the Tungurahua daily bulletin for 15 June 2008 (PDF) that a slight increase took place in the volcano’s seismic activity over the preceding 24 hours and that there has been an increase in ash emissions, with ashfall reported south and south-west of the summit. Recent heavy rains have generated lahars, which caused some road closures to the north-west of the volcano. No explosive activity has been reported.

For all our Tungurahua coverage: Tungurahua << The Volcanism Blog

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Tungurahua – summary information for Tungurahua (1502-80=)
Instituto Geofísico (Escuela Politecnica Nacional) – Geophysical Institute of Ecuador

The Volcanism Blog

Tungurahua update, 7 June 2008 7 June 2008

Posted by admin in activity reports, Ecuador, eruptions, Tungurahua, volcanoes.
Tags: , , , ,
comments closed

After a lively few weeks, Tungurahua seems to be quietening down a little. Ecuador’s Instituto Geofísico (IG) reports in in the latest special bulletin (PDF) for the volcano, dated 6 June 2008, that there has been a significant decline in activity since the dramatic seismic and eruptive events of 28-29 May.

The last notable activity – explosions, ashfall, and significant tremors - occurred on 2 June. Since then there have been ‘only very sporadic signs of tremor, associated with small emission columns of vapour and ash of low energy and low, or even zero, ash content’. There have been no explosive events since 2 June, when two small explosions took place, and the last instances of ashfall were also recorded on that date. ‘In general’, concludes the bulletin, ‘other monitored paramaters of the volcano have declined and it is not expected that it will return to an increased level of activity in a sudden manner’.

For all our Tungurahua coverage: Tungurahua << The Volcanism Blog

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Tungurahua – summary information for Tungurahua (1502-80=)
Instituto Geofísico (Escuela Politecnica Nacional) – Geophysical Institute of Ecuador

News
El coloso se tranquilizaLa Hora, 7 June 2008 (Spanish)

The Volcanism Blog

Tungurahua update, 30 May 2008 31 May 2008

Posted by admin in activity reports, Ecuador, eruptions, Tungurahua, volcanoes.
Tags: , , , , ,
comments closed

The Instituto Geofísico of Ecuador issued a new Special Bulletin (PDF) for Tungurahua yesterday, 29 May 2008. Since 23 May, the bulletin observes, the increase in activity at Tungurahua has become much more marked, ‘with the occurrence of significant numbers of explosions and more frequent and intense columns of ash, and therefore increased ashfall in areas near the volcano’. On 28 May there were two volcano-tectonic earthquakes, the first at a depth of 9km under the volcano, the second at a depth of 5km. Progressively shallower earthquakes under a volcano are an ominous sign:

Such earthquakes generally indicate that fractures are occurring during the ascent of magma toward the upper part [of the volcano] and are therefore indicators of a pressurization of the magmatic system of the volcano. In general these events are precursors to major eruptive activity, as has been observed in previous eruptions of the volcano.

Yesterday morning, 29 May, there was an hour-long period of strong tremor ‘accompanied by intense roaring sounds, significant emissions of ash and the expulsion of blocks and incandescent materials from the crater’. A similar episode occurred a few hours later. This type of activity suggests that ‘the internal pressure of the volcano is not sufficient to maintain a continuous process of the expulsion of material’; this behaviour ‘could persist for hours or days at similar levels’ or ‘it could mark the beginning of major future activity, leading to similar eruptive events to those which occurred in 2006 and February 2008′.

A report in El Comercio today describes explosions from Tungurahua rattling windows in nearby towns, and the volcano’s eruption column of ash reaching 5 kilometres in altitude.

For all our Tungurahua coverage: Tungurahua << The Volcanism Blog

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Tungurahua – summary information for Tungurahua (1502-80=)
Instituto Geofísico (Escuela Politecnica Nacional) – Geophysical Institute of Ecuador

News
Volcán Tungurahua expulsa columnas de ceniza de hasta 5 KmEl Comercio, 30 May 2008 (Spanish)
Alerta por el incremento en la actividad del TungurahuaEl Universo, 30 May 2008 (Spanish)
Municipio de Baños demanda atenciónDiario Los Andes, 30 May 2008 (Spanish)

The Volcanism Blog

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 119 other followers