Sunday, April 05, 2009

Llaima Volcano, Chile - John Seach

Llaima volcano in Chile erupted on Friday 3rd April after several months of low seismic activity. On 2nd April at 16:00 hrs (local time) there was an increase in amplitude and frequency of long period earthquakes reaching 45 to 60 per hour. This increase in seismicity remained constant until 18:00 hrs on 3rd April, and then evolved to a continuous seismic tremor of low frequency. The slight increase in seismic activity recorded on 2-3 April was associated with weak emissions of vapour. From 20:30 hrs on 3rd April, eyewitnesses reported a glow in the main crater. At 21:00 hrs, the tremor increased, while at 22:45 hrs weak strombolian explosions occurred in the main crater. Until 06:00 hrs on 4th April, moderate strombolian eruptions occurred every 1-3 seconds, from two cones in the crater. Incandescent material was ejected 700 m above the crater. Muddy water has been reported in rivers draining the volcano. Melting of snow and ice from the eruption is creating a lahar hazard. Twelve people have been evacuated from Conguillio national park, which has been closed.
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