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Puyehue at red alert, evacuations ordered 4 June 2011

Posted by admin in activity reports, Chile, Puyehue.

The situation at Puyehue volcano in Chile, which we reported on earlier today, is changing fast. The Chilean Government has now ordered the evacuation of people in the immediate surroundings of the volcano as SERNAGEOMIN raises the alert level at Puyehue to the highest level of Red 5, ‘eruption imminent in hours or days’.

The Vice-President of the Republic, no less, has decreed that emergency measures be applied in response to the activity at Puyehue-Cordón Caulle. Both the state emergencies office ONEMI and the geological service SERNAGEOMIN have imposed red alert status on the area. The evacuation is expected to affect 600-700 people

The most recent SERNAGEOMIN bulletin (PDF), issued at 11:30 local time on 4 June 2011, reads:

The Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (SERNAGEOMIN) – Observatorio Volcanológico de los Andes del Sur (OVDAS), announces that the seismic process in the volcanic complex indicates the imminence of an eruption in the next few hours. The seismic activity has evolved to register a spasmodic tremor of high energy, conforming to signals related in most cases to the dynamics of fluids in the interior of the volcanic conduits (hybrid and large period types), located in the edifice of Cordón Caulle, at depths ranging between 1-4 km. In the last 6 hours an average of 230 earthquakes per hour have been registered, of which 12 events have shown magnitudes greater than 4 and 50 events greater than 3; 50% of the events registered have magnitudes greater than 2. A notable earthquake was registered at 8:36 local time with a magnitude of 4.4.

Inhabitants of the region report having felt constant earthquakes during last night and this morning.

Therefore, the volcanic alert level is changed to Level 5 – RED: IMMINENCY OF AN ERUPTION IN HOURS/DAYS.

Erik has coverage over at Eruptions, and we will also continue to watch developments here at the Volcanism Blog.

Gobierno decreta alerta roja por intensa actividad sísmica cerca del volcán Puyehue y ordena evacuar a 600 personasLa Tercera, 4 June 2011
Gobierno decide evacuar a parte de la población cercana al volcán PuyehueEl Mercurio, 4 June 2011
Alerta roja por aumento de sismos cerca del volcán PuyehueLa Nación, 4 June 2011

Global Volcanism Program: Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcanic complex – summary information for the PCCVC (1507-15=)

The Volcanism Blog