Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Chaitén Volcano. Chile - John Seach

On 6th of May the eruption at Chaitén volcano in Chile intensified with the eruption column reaching an altitude of 30 km (100,000 ft). This makes the eruption possibly the largest since Pinatubo in 1991. The nearby town of Chaitén could end up buried, like the Roman city of Pompeii following Mount Vesuvius' eruption in 79 A.D. Volcanic ash is already 5 feet deep in some places. Volcanic material from Chaiten's last eruption measured up to 2 m (6 feet) in places. During a helicopter overflight on 6th May at 10:00 hr, observations showed two explosion craters on the northern side of the dome had merged to form a single crater with a diameter of 800 m. Lava is rising in the crater but has not yet spilled over. There have been no reports of pyroclastic flows. So far, Chaiten has emitted only a few thousand tons of sulphur dioxide. In 1991 Mt Pinatubo eruption in the Philippines emitted 20 million tons of sulphur dioxide in 1991, and caused a brief period of global cooling.
More on Chaitén Volcano...