Friday, January 30, 2009

Relocation of Chaiten Town, Chile - John Seach

The Government of Chile has announced that Chaiten town will eventually be relocated from its present position 9 km SSW of Chaiten volcano. Chaiten volcano erupted in May 2008 after being dormant for over 9000 years. The town was covered in ash and damaged by flooding from the ash-choked Blanco River. The town's 5,000 inhabitants were evacuated, and nearly 2,000 families received financial assistance. The government initially prohibited residents from returning but later lifted its ban. About 100 people now live in Chaiten town. An announcement, was made on Thursday 29th January by Interior Minister Edmundo Pérez Yoma about the future of Chaiten town. He said “As it has been since the eruption first began, our obligation as the government is to ensure safety and protect human lives,” said Pérez Yoma. The interior minister also announced that beginning in March, Futaleufú will replace Chaitén as the administrative capital of Region X. In order to prevent land speculation, the government has not yet announced where exactly it plans to relocate Chaitén. Possibilities reportedly include Bahía Pumalín, Santa Bárbara and Fandango. Edmundo Pérez Yoma said “We have told people many times that it is dangerous, that they cannot remain there, but we cannot force them (to leave)." The minister assured the government will respect the wishes of those who decide to stay in the area but insisted that no public funds will be allocated “to a city that we feel should not be located where it is”.
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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Chaiten Volcano, Chile - John Seachch

Seismicity associated with the eruption of Chaitén volcano in Chile has decreased over the past week. Viscous lava is still being erupted into the dome, but this is occurring at a reduced rate. Dome collapse is still a danger, with pyroclastic flows potentially traveling down flanks of the volcano and valleys. On 19th of January there was a collapse of spines of the dome, with block and ash moving down the eastern and southeastern flank. During an overflight on 21st January the prominent spines were no longer present on the lava dome. Several steep landslides were visible on the eastern side of the dome. Thermal imaging shows many hotspots on the dome. The volcano is still at alert level RED due to the ongoing eruptions.
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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii - John Seach

A new lava ocean entry has occurred inside Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, for the first time since 2007. The western Prince lava flow reached the ocean at Waha`ula on Thursday 22nd January. The ocean entry was small and didn't produce steam. Waikupanaha ocean entry continues to be active. On Wednesday 21st January there were two earthquakes beneath the south summit caldera of Kilauea, and two on south flank faults. A small ash emission occurred at Halemaumau crater.
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Friday, January 23, 2009

Wurali Volcano, Indonesia - John Seach

A magnitude 6.1 earthquake hit Wurali volcano on Friday 23rd January 2009 at 5:16 am, local time. The earthquake epicentre was located 7 km south of Damar Island, and the focus was at 141 km depth. Wurlali Volcano is located on Damar Island, Indonesia, 375 km NE of Dili, East Timor.
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Friday, January 16, 2009

Dieng Volcano, Indonesia - John Seach

Dieng volcano in Indonesia has been raised from level I to II alert (out of maximum 4) after two phreatic eruptions on 15th January. The eruptions occurred at Sibanteng crater at 0800 and 0830 hr. Material was ejected 50 m from the crater. There has not been any increase in toxic gas at the volcano. It is recommended that residents and tourists not to approach closer than 300 m from the craters.
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Chaiten Volcano, Chile - John Seach

During the week of 9-15 January, seismicity at Chaiten volcano in Chile has increased, and is related to dome growth in the crater. The dome has formed a steep slope and is at risk of generating pyroclastic flows.
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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Rabaul Volcano, Papua New Guinea - John Seach

Ash emissions from Rabaul volcano in Papua New Guinea closed Tokua airport between Monday and Friday this week. Hundreds of people have not been able to leave, or fly into East New Britain province. A north-west wind is pushing plumes towards Tokua airport 20 kilometres away. Some incandescent lava fragments were emitted from Tarvurvur cone. Most of the lava fragments fell back into the crater but some fell on the slopes of the volcano. A local shipping company has offered to take up to 400 passengers to an airport in nearby New Ireland Province, which is not affected by the volcano. Moderate level seismicity accompanied the eruptions. An earthquake occurred at about 07:47 a.m. yesterday (magnitude 5.6), and was located about 135 km southeast from Rabaul at a depth of about 40 km. The earthquake was tectonic in origin. People are advised to stay more than 2 km away from Turvurvur cone due to ongoing explosive activity.
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Thursday, January 01, 2009

Chaiten Volcano, Chile - John Seach

Seismicity at Chaiten volcano has remained stable over the past few weeks, with 2-6 events per hour. On 25th and 28th December, ash emissions reached 2 km above the crater. A lava dome continues to grow in the crater, producing instability on the summit and flanks. Explosions from the lava dome are possible and create the risk of pyroclastic flows. The volcano remains at the highest alert level - RED.
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