Saturday, February 21, 2009

Galeras Volcano, Colombia - John Seach

An eruption occurred at Galeras volcano, Colombia on 20th February 2009 at 7:05 am, local time. The eruption was accompanied by shock waves, and and vibrations in several villages located in the catchment area of the volcano. There are confirmed reports that the eruption was heard in the city of Popayan, over 150 km NNE of the volcano. There were at least two explosions, and emission of incandescent material, along with a sulphurous smell. The initial eruptive event was associated with a seismic signal which lasted for approximately 13 minutes. The seismic energy was almost twice the assessed for the eruption of 14th February 2009. Wind direction according to the weather station installed at the top of Galeras, is toward the west coast. There are reports of ash fall in areas of the municipalities of Sandona, Consacá and Ancuya, located on the western flank of Galeras. The eruptive column showed three levels of dispersion. The column reached a height of about 8 km, with dispersal to the east, at an altitude of 2500 m, the plume of ash was to the west, and between these two levels, the ash moved north. This dispersion was due to variable wind conditions at different altitudes. After the eruption there was a decrease in seismic activity, characterized by the presence of a few events associated with fluid dynamics and low energy levels. The volcanic warning level at Galeras is RED: ERUPTION IMMINENT OR IN PROGRESS.
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