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El Misti at the NASA Earth Observatory 2 November 2009

Posted by admin in El Misti, NASA Earth Observatory, natural hazards, Peru.
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El Misti volcano and Arequipa, Peru, 16 October 2009 (NASA astronaut photograph)

The Peruvian volcano El Misti is very close to the country’s second city of Arequipa: just 17 km separates the city with its ~1 million inhabitants from the volcano’s crater. The image above, a mosaic of two ISS astronaut photographs that is today’s Image of the Day at the NASA Earth Observatory, shows the potentially dangerous relationship clearly. Larger versions of the image, and a full commentary, are available over at the Earth Observatory. There is, however, no scale bar on the Earth Observatory images, so I have added one to the small version above.

El Misti Volcano and Arequipa, Peru – NASA Earth Observatory (2 November 2009)

[Astronaut photographs ISS021-E-8370 and ISS021-E-8371 were acquired on 16 October 2009 by the Expedition 21 crew. Additional images taken by astronauts and cosmonauts can be viewed at the NASA/JSC Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth.]

Information
Global Volcanism Program: El Misti – summary information for El Misti (1504-01=)
Instituto Geológico Minero y Metalúrgico – Geological, Mineral and Metallurgical Institute of Peru (Ingemmet)

The Volcanism Blog

Peru practices for El Misti eruption 17 May 2009

Posted by admin in El Misti, natural hazards, Peru.
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El Misti volcano, Arequipa, Peru, 29 April 2007
El Misti volcano from Arequipa, 29 April 2007. [source]

El Misti in southern Peru, a 5822-metre stratovolcano, has an active eruptive history and last erupted in 1985. The volcano overlooks the city of Arequipa, which has a population of 1.2 million people. El Misti’s recent activity has been on a relatively small scale (no eruption larger than VEI=1 since the fifteenth century) but it poses a potential danger to thousands of people — about 2000 years ago a pyroclastic flow from the volcano travelled some 12 km, and winds have spread ash as far as 20 km from the cone.

In July 2001 a NASA commentary noted that the local civil defence and planning authorities regard the volcano as a ‘remote danger’ and that the city of Arequipa is continuing to expand towards the volcano. It seems, however, that some of the Peruvian authorities are now aware of the dangers: Peru.com reports that an exercise has just been held to simulate the evacuation of nearby districts in the event of an eruption. The exercise was organized by Peru’s Instituto Geológico, Minero y Metalúrgico (INGEMMET) with the local authorities in Arequipa and neighbouring areas and the Peruvian Army. Sirens sounded, trucks carried evacuees to shelters, procedures for providing tents, warm clothing, blankets and food were tested. The practice evacuation involved only 150 people, but the aim was to ‘sensitize’ the local population about the dangers of an eruption and the importance of being prepared.

News
Eventual erupción del volcán Misti afectaría a 100 mil personas – Peru.com, 16 May 2009

Information
Global Volcanism Program: El Misti – summary information for El Misti (1504-01=)
Instituto Geológico Minero y Metalúrgico – Geological, Mineral and Metallurgical Institute of Peru (Ingemmet)

The Volcanism Blog