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Tungurahua update, 28 May 2008 28 May 2008

Posted by admin in activity reports, Ecuador, eruptions, natural hazards, Tungurahua.
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Seismic activity at Tungurahua remains elevated, the volcano is continually emitting ash, and explosive activity at the summit continues, albeit at a slightly reduced intensity when compared with preceding days, reports the Ecuadorian Instituto Geofísico (IG) in their latest daily bulletin (PDF). The explosions may be fewer in number, but are marked by ‘a slight increase in size’. The eruption column has reached a maximum altitude of 4km, with ashfall taking place to the west, and lahars, produced by recent heavy rains, have been reported north-west of the volcano.

The IG held a meeting yesterday in the civic hall of Cevallos, reports El Comercio, and warned that activity at Tungaruhua may continue to increase to levels last seen in February this year, or even in August 2006. ‘Over the past two months there has been a gradual increase’, said IG volcanologist Patricia Mothes, ‘But last weekend saw a marked increase in activity. There are more explosions, more earthquakes and ash’. An updated risk map was also distributed for scrutiny by the local authorities.

Reports in the Ecuadorian newspaper La Hora and AFP say that the mayor of Penipe has requested the declaration of a state of emergency for the district because of the revival of activity at Tungurahua and in particular the constant emission of ash and resulting mudflows and landslides. The existing state of emergency for the areas around the volcano expires this month, and local political leaders are pressing the Ministry of Internal Security for its renewal, ensuring the continuing supply of funds and other support.

For all our Tungurahua coverage: Tungurahua << The Volcanism Blog

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Tungurahua – summary information for Tungurahua (1502-80=)
Instituto Geofísico (Escuela Politecnica Nacional) – Geophysical Institute of Ecuador

News
Piden nueva declaratoria de emergenciaLa Hora, 28 May 2008 (Spanish)
Alcalde pedirá declaratoria de emergencia por erupción de volcán en Ecuador – AFP, 28 May 2008 (Spanish)
El Geofísico presentó un nuevo mapa de riesgosEl Comercio, 28 May 2008 (Spanish)

The Volcanism Blog

Tungurahua update 18 May 2008

Posted by admin in activity reports, Ecuador, Tungurahua.
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The Ecuadorian volcano Tungurahua, which produced some notable eruptive episodes early this year, has maintained a low to moderate level of activity since with no dramatic behaviour during April and May. However, there is evidence that the level of activity is once more on the rise, and the volcanologists of the Instituto Geofísico (IG) are keeping a close watch on developments. What follows is a summary for April and May 2008 based on the IG’s daily reports on Tungurahua for that period.

During most of April activity at Tungurahua was fairly low, restricted to emissions of gas and ash; the eruption column varied between 1000 and 4000 metres in altitude. Some ashfall occurred in villages to the south-west of the volcano. Rumbles and explosions could be heard, and occasional explosive activity projected blocks and bombs onto the upper slopes. Seismic activity remained low to moderate, with a larger earthquake being registered on 12 April. The heavy rains experienced at times during the month produced some small lahars.

At the end of April the seismic behaviour of the volcano changed, with more frequent and intense short period tremors reflecting the movement of fluids inside the volcano, but externally there was no significant alteration with degassing producing a plume of about 2000 metres altitude and ashfall to the west and southwest. Incandescence was observed at the summit in early May, and by mid-May strombolian activity was visibly occurring at the summit crater and incandescent blocks could be observed rolling down the slopes, sometimes for a distance of 1000 metres.

The latest observations (PDF) indicate that the seismic activity of the volcano is becoming more intense, with the presence of harmonic tremor indicating fluid movement within the edifice. Roaring sounds can be heard and are becoming more frequent and intense, and the level of explosive activity at the summit is rising. The ash plume is reaching altitudes around 3000 metres, and ashfall is occurring to the west of the volcano, and some lahars have been observed.

For all our Tungurahua coverage: Tungurahua << The Volcanism Blog

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Tungurahua – summary information for Tungurahua (1502-80=)
Instituto Geofísico (Escuela Politecnica Nacional) – Geophysical Institute of Ecuador

News
El volcán Tungurahua aumenta su actividadEl Comercio, 4 April 2008 (Spanish)
El volcán Tungurahua, estableEl Comercio, 8 April 2008 (Spanish)
Extensas columnas de cenizaDiario Los Andes, 30 April 2008 (Spanish)
El Tungurahua produce ruidosLa Hora, 15 May 2008 (Spanish)

The Volcanism Blog