January 2015 – GEOLOGY – People living near the Popocatepetl volcano in Mexico had an explosive New Year’s celebration. The volcano had almost 30 eruptions in less than 24 hours, according to the latest update. People within 10 km have been asked by Mexican officials to evacuate their homes. The Centre for Disaster Prevention released a press release on Wednesday where they said that the volcano had erupted 28 times and released smoke more than 450 times. At least five strong tremors were also felt in the area. –Weatherwork
Mexico – The Colima volcano in western Mexico is continuing to produce emissions that have put civil protection authorities in the states of Jalisco and Colima on alert, and they are not ruling out undertaking a possible evacuation of local residents if the situation worsens, officials said Monday. The head of the Civil Protection and Firefighters Unit in Jalisco state, Trinidad Lopez Rivas, said at a press conference that “the evacuation of the people (will be undertaken) if it’s necessary,” that is, if there is an event involving the volcano that is more serious than what has occurred so far. “We’re prepared for that,” she added. Last Saturday at 8:57 a.m. the volcano exploded, emitting a column of smoke and gas that reached 3,000 meters (almost 10,000 feet) into the sky over the crater and four hours later there was another explosion that produced a smoke column 1,200 meters (about 4,000 feet) high.
Neither of these events caused property damage or casualties, but ash fell in at least seven nearby towns – Tuxpan, Tonila, San Gabriel, Zapotlan el Grande, Tamazula de Gordiano, Poncitlan and Ocotlan – all of them in southern Jalisco. Since Saturday, the volcano has been continuing to emit gas and smoke columns up to 800 meters (2,600 feet) high. Lopez told reporters that civil protection personnel had been deployed in three towns located on the slopes of the volcano with the aim of providing help to local residents, if needed. In addition, vehicles and a shelter that can house about 320 people have been readied if evacuations need to be made. Colima stands 3,820 meters (about 12,530 feet) above sea level and is considered to be one of the most active volcanoes in Mexico. –Fox News
Kamchatka – The volcano, the highest mountain in the Kamchatka peninsula – Russia’s Land of Fire and Ice – is active again after one year’s relative calm. ‘The crater is filling up with fresh lava and volcano’s activity is steadily growing. There is a constant volcanic trembling, thermal anomaly and glow above the crater’, said the Kamchatka branch of the Geophysical Service of the Russian Academy of Sciences. There is a warning to aircraft flying at 6,000 meters altitude. Klyuchevskaya Sopka, also known as Klyuchevskoi – which rises some 4,750 meters above the sea level – is one of the planet’s most active volcanoes. Its last active phase was from August to December 2013. Increased seismic activity was noted from 19 December. A small plume was detected from 2 January. A thermal anomaly is visible on satellite data and during clear weather, glow can be seen from the summit at night.
Late last month the Sheveluch volcano in Kamchatka spewed out a cloud of ash some 35 km eastwards. ‘The volcano has ejected cinders to the altitude of 6,000 meters above sea level,’ said the Kamchatka Volcano Eruptions Reaction Team. The Sheveluch, which is 3,283 meters tall, is the northernmost of Kamchatka’s volcanoes. The nearest populated locality, the township of Klyuchi, is located 80 kilometers away. The Sheveluch, which is also spelt as Shiveluch or Sopka Shiveluch sometimes is a hyperactive volcano. The recorded disastrous eruptions occurred in 1854 and 1956. The current eruption started on August 15, 1999, and continues to this day. Klyuchevskaya Sopka is considered sacred by some indigenous peoples, seen as the location at which the world was created. Other volcanoes in the region also have spiritual significance, but Klyuchevskaya Sopka is the most sacred. –Siberian Times
Cape Verde – Many local Cape Verdeans have traveled to Chã das Caldeiras, a picturesque village in the crater of a volcano on one the archipelago’s islands. It is renowned for its homemade goat cheese and full-bodied wines. Now they are rallying to help the 3,000 residents who had to be rescued from the area around the village, which lies in ruins after lava and smoke began pouring from the volcano on the island of Fogo two weeks ago. “We just all feel horrible and sad,” said Veronica Rosario, 33, of Dorchester, who is working with the United for Fogo initiative. “We’ve met the people who live there. . . . A lot of them are family members and friends.” Chã das Caldeiras, situated within the volcano’s crater, had been evacuated at the first sign of volcanic activity on Nov. 22, Prime Minister Jos Maria Neves of Cape Verde said in a statement. And midmorning on Nov. 23, Pico do Fogo erupted for the first time in almost 20 years. “Homes have been destroyed, schools demolished, churches crumbled, and small businesses reduced to ash.”
Alberto Montrond, the elected coordinator of the political party MpD-USA who represents Cape Verdeans in North America, said in a statement. The volcanic onslaught has ebbed and surged over the past two weeks. Hopes that the eruption was winding down were dashed Friday night, Montrond said, when small hot spots became a second large eruption. By Sunday night, the situation was “catastrophic,” Montrond said. Cape Verde media reported about 90 percent of the village and farmland engulfed, with lava flowing about 590 feet per hour. Churches, wine distilleries, the school — all were destroyed, Montrond said. “It is the main source of farmland and food for the island, and partially for the nation,” he said. The crater — full of rich, volcanic soil — contains the country’s first and largest wine production area, “which is pretty much gone now.” The government reported no injuries or deaths, but said the 1,200 evacuated Chã das Caldeiras villagers lost their homes and possessions. –Boston Globe