Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity
Santiaguito (Guatemala): A strong explosion occurred from the active Caliente lava dome this morning around 10:30 local time. It generated a pyroclastic flow that traveled down the southeast flank of the dome complex reaching a length of approx. 2-3 km. No damage or injuries were reported. Ash plumes from both the explosion and the pyroclastic flow rose to an elevation of 17,000 ft (5.5 km) and produced moderate ash falls in the southern sectors of the volcano, in particular in the village and coffee farm of El Palmar. Authorities ordered preventive evacuations in areas to the S and SE closest to the volcano.
Bardarbunga (Central Iceland): Over the past few months, seismic activity at the volcano, mainly under the volcano’s large, ice-covered caldera has been increasing again, suggesting that magma might be filling the volcano’s reservoir underneath the caldera. Since the beginning of the year, more than 300 shallow earthquakes of magnitudes up to 3.8 on the Richter scale were recorded, clustered in areas near the southern and northeastern caldera rim.
Sakurajima (Kyushu, Japan): After several months of unusual calm, the volcano had a moderately strong vulcanian explosion from the Showa crater this morning. An ash plume rose to approx. 10,000 ft (3 km) altitude. Until the end of Sep 2015, Sakurajima had been producing such explosions, of varying intensity, at rates of typically 3-5 or more per day. This activity ceased around 28 Sep 2015 and until now, the volcano had only manifested surface activity in the form of minor ash emissions, degassing, as well as, very rarely, minor explosions. Whether the volcano is back to its previously typical behaviour with more frequent and stronger explosions, as it had been during most of the recent years, remains to be seen.
Sinabung (Sumatra, Indonesia): Recently, explosions from the active summit lava dome have become more frequent, producing ash plumes that rose 1-2 km above the summit. Extrusion of viscous lava also continues at slow pace, generating small to moderate pyroclastic flows from time to time.
Fuego (Guatemala): Activity at the volcano is again increasing and seems to be heading towards another (the 3rd in 2016) paroxysm. Explosions have become stronger, and possibly, one or several short lava flows are active on the upper flanks. The thermal output of the volcano, measured by NASA’s satellite-based MODIS spectroradiometer, also shows a clear increasing trend.