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Landslide mitigation works get under way at San Salvador 10 June 2009

Posted by admin in El Salvador, natural hazards, San Salvador.
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A little while ago we ran a report here at The Volcanism Blog on San Salvador volcano in El Salvador, which overlooks the country’s capital city (also called San Salvador). This massive compound volcano, which last erupted in 1917, presents – in addition to its violent eruptive character – a serious non-eruptive volcanic hazard in the form of lethal and destructive landslides generated by collapses of its unstable flanks. The populations of communities around the volcano have been campaigning to get mitigation measures put in place to protect them from this threat.

The appearance of a new large crack in the flank of the volcano that faces the capital has apparently helped to concentrate minds on the potential dangers. Last week the Salvadorean ministers of the interior and of public works visited the area to discuss what measures the government may take to deal with the problem. The mitigation techniques being considered include the planting of ‘living barriers’ of foliage on affected slopes and the construction of dykes and drainage channels. The main element is planned to be an 800-metre long and 10-metre wide drainage channel capable of carrying the large volumes of water runoff produced during the rainy season, which runs from May/June to November. A total of $10 million (or possibly $6 million, initially) is being sought from the government’s Special Investments Fund to begin work on the project.

The Ministry of Public Works (MOP) is now beginning a geological, geotechnical and hydrological survey of the area, which is expected to take four weeks. The MOP says that the work itself will probably be carried out this winter, once the imminent rainy season for this year is over.

MOP realizará obras de mitigación por grieta en volcán de San SalvadorLa Prensa Grafica, 5 June 2009
Gobernación pedirá $10 Mlls. para obras en volcánEl Diario del Hoy, 5 June 2009
MOP inicia procesos para obras de mitigación en volcán de San SalvadorDiario Co Latino, 8 June 2009
Obras de mitigación en volcán de San Salvador costarán unos $6 millonesLa Prensa Grafica, 8 June 2009
MOP inicia trabajos preventivos en volcánDiario El Mundo, 8 June 2009

Global Volcanism Program: San Salvador – summary information for San Salvador (1403-05=)
Volcano Hazards in the San Salvador Region – USGS report, 2001, available at the CVO website
Volcano Landslides and their Effects – USGS Volcano Hazards Program

The Volcanism Blog