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Llaima update, 5 April 2009 5 April 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, Chile, eruptions, Llaima, natural hazards.
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Llaima, 4 April 2009. Image courtesy POVI, copyright Jose Monsalve (Diario Austral).
Llaima volcano, Chile, 4 April 2009. Image courtesy POVI, copyright José Monsalve (Diario Austral).

The eruption of Chile’s Llaima volcano that began on 3 April is still ongoing, and is ‘vigorous and sustained’, according to geologist Hugo Moreno (quoted by Radio Cooperativa). The La Araucanía regional authorities have declared a red alert for areas around the volcano, and around 60-70 people have so far been evacuated, although a ‘massive evacuation’ is not in prospect. The authorities’ concern, reports La Nación, is primarily with the potential danger posed by lahars in the Calbuco river.

The latest bulletin from ONEMI reports that 71 people have been evacuated from 11 communities near the volcano, with red alert for Vilcún and Curacautín, because of the danger of lahars, and yellow alert for Cunco, Melipeuco and Lonquimay. In an earlier bulletin ONEMI had reported ash emissions to 7000 metres altitude, a plume extending 100 kilometres to the south-east, incandescent material being projected up to 2 kilometres from the summit, pyroclastic flows on the western flank, and lava flowing towards the Calbuco valley. The Chilean state geological service SERNAGEOMIN has issued a bulletin on the Llaima eruption: the original is here, and The Volcanism Blog’s translation into English is here.

The BBC News website has a short but dramatic video of the Llaima eruption, available here.

The picture at the head of this post, taken on 4 April 2009, comes from POVI, Proyecto Observación Visual Volcán Llaima and is copyright © José Monsalve (Diario Austral) – our thanks to POVI for supplying this image. Below is a seismic trace for 4 April 2009 from POVI’s seismograph, located 18 kilometers SSW of Llaima’s summit.

Llaima seismic trace, 4 April 2009 (POVI)

The time-window is 19:15 to 20:35 GMT, and the trace shows seismic tremor with peaks reaching 800 RSAM digital units (the normal background is 30-40 units). The main frequency of the ongoing tremor signal is 1 HZ (1 cycle per second). Our thanks to Werner Keller of POVI for these data.

There are copious further photographs, seismic traces, satellite images and live webcam and seismograph displays at the POVI Llaima website, which provides constant real-time coverage of activity at the volcano. At The Volcanism Blog, we very much appreciate POVI sharing their updates and images with us.

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

Intendencia de La Araucanía decretó alerta roja en sectores cercanos al Llaima – Radio Cooperativa, 4 April 2009
Llaima: Comienza evacuación de habitantes de comunidades próximas a volcánLa Nación, 5 April 2009
Rosende: Situación en el Llaima hasta ahora es de bastante incertidumbre – Radio Cooperativa, 5 April 2009
Se mantiene creciente actividad eruptiva en el volcán LlaimaEl Mercurio, 5 April 2009
Evacuation ordered as Chile volcano erupts again – Reuters, 5 April 2009
Chile volcano eruption revs up, ash Argentina-bound – Reuters, 5 April 2009
Lava spews from Chile volcano – BBC News (video), 5 April 2009

Global Volcanism Program: Llaima – summary information for Llaima (1507-11=)
Oficina Nacional de Emergencia – Chilean government emergencies office
SERNAGEOMIN – Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería, Chile
Proyecto Observación Visual Volcán Llaima – Llaima Visual Observation Project

The Volcanism Blog