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Chile: Descabezado Grande activity ‘normal’ 29 April 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, Chile, Descabezado Grande.
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The Chilean volcano Descabezado Grande has been causing a flurry in the Spanish-language press today. The Spanish website soitu.es reported this morning that Descabezado Grande began to erupt today, without causing casualties or physical destruction. People living around the volcano have apparently seen ‘unusual’ activity, with fumaroles reaching 500 metres above the summit (there are some pictures in this report from Radio Fantástica). The Chilean press has been reporting that alerts have been issued to local inhabitants and air traffic by the government emergencies office ONEMI, and state geology service SERNAGEOMIN was sending experts to assess the activity.

Well, SERNAGEOMIN have taken a look at what’s been happening (they have made a ‘preventive inspection’ of the crater area) and have decided that it is nothing unusual: ‘the presence of steam and fumaroles is in line with the normal activity of the volcano’. SERNAGEOMIN and the regional office of ONEMI have both ruled out any danger of eruption.

Descabezado Grande last erupted in 1932-3 (VEI=3) , just after a very large eruption from neighbouring Quizapu. This coincidence in activity was the cause of some speculative reporting at the time: see our Daily Volcano Quote on ‘volcanoes and the weather, 1932’.

News
El volcán Descabezado Grande, en el sur de Chile, entra en actividad – soitu.es, 29 April 2009
Preocupación causa actividad de volcán Descabezado Grande en Región del Maule – Radio Fantástica, 29 April 2009
Volcán Descabezado Grande entra en actividad y especialistas viajan a la Región del Maule para evaluar la situaciónLa Tercera, 29 April 2009
El Maule: Volcán Descabezado Grande entró en actividadLa Segunda, 29 April 2009
Autoridades: Fumarola de volcán Descabezado Grande corresponde a la actividad normalEl Mercurio, 29 April 2009
Autoridades descartaron peligro de erupción en el Descabezado Grande – Radio Cooperativa, 29 April 2009

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Descabezado Grande – summary information for Descabezado Grande (1507-05=)
Oficina Nacional de Emergencia – Chilean government emergencies office
SERNAGEOMIN – Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería, Chile

The Volcanism Blog