Worldwide VOLCANO news – Current Merapi (Indonesia) activity exaggerated in press reports
May 3, 2012
Mexico / Popocatépetl
Popocatépetl volcano continues to produce ash and steam eruptions several times a day, that generate plumes rising up to 1-2 km above the crater. A more powerful emission is in progress at the time of writing (see image). (text : volcano discovery)
May 2, 2012
Indonesia / Merapi
After the destructive eruption who killed hundreds of people in November 2010, the press is seeing Merapi as a great story again because of some renewed activity. The Indonesian Volcanic Institute stresses however that there is NO similarity with the conditions which were noticed before the Merapi erupted violently. At the time the deformation of the volcano was in some parts mounted to 3 meter versus 10 cm now. The same with volcanic earthquakes, at the time the number mounted to 100/day versus 10 now. GPS data and Satellite follow have not given indications of serious renewed activity. The specialized authorities are vigilant at all times but have not raised the level of Merapi. A higher level would start a number of preparations to be ready to evacuate people if necessary. The current level of Merapi is Normal (lowest on 4 levels). No NO GO radius has been called yet. (source local press at 16:30 UTC)
April 27, 2012
Mexico / Popocatépetl thermal image from space
Located about 70 kilometers (40 miles) southeast of Mexico City, Popocatépetl (pronounced poh-poh-kah-TEH-peh-til) is one of Mexico’s most active volcanoes. The towering stratovolcano has been erupting since January 2005, with near constant venting from fumaroles, punctuated by minor steam, gas, and ash emissions. Activity began to pick up significantly in mid-April 2012. The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this nighttime view of the eruption at 10:53 p.m. local time (04:53 Universal Time) on April 25, 2012. ASTER is capable of measuring electromagnetic radiation from multiple parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. This image is thermal infrared and shows how much heat was emanating from different parts of the volcano. The hottest areas are the brightest; cooler areas are darker. The white dot in the center of the image is a hotspot within Popocatépetl’s summit crater. The upper reaches of the mountain were significantly cooler than the surrounding landscape. Popocatépetl’s plume, shown blowing south, was also cool. A status report released on April 25 by the Mexican National Center for Disaster Prevention (CENAPRED) noted the plume was comprised of ash and gas and drifting 1.5 kilometers (0.9 miles) above the surface. There have been reports of ash falling in Atlixco, a small city southeast of the volcano. (text and image NASA Earth Observatory – text belongs mainly to the thermal picture)
Active volcanoes in the world
11 volcanoes have shown changes in activity last week. New unusual activity has been noticed around 4 volcanoes.
Chuginadak Island 52.825°N, 169.944°W; summit elev. 1730 m
AVO reported that elevated surface temperatures were observed over Cleveland in satellite imagery during 17-18 April. An explosion on 19 April at 0438, detected by seismometers at Makushin and Okmok volcanoes, generated an ash cloud the rose 4-6 km (13,100-19,700 ft) a.s.l. and drifted S. Satellite images showed block-and-ash deposits extending for up to 1 km down the S flank. A possible weak thermal anomaly was detected in images during 20-21 April.
Eastern Java (Indonesia) 7.979°S, 113.342°E; summit elev. 1651 m
CVGHM reported that, although weather conditions often prevented observations of Lamongan during 9 March-17 April, white plumes were occasionally seen rising 10-20 m above the crater rim. Seismicity decreased during this period. CVGHM lowered the Alert Level to 1 (on a scale of 1-4) on 19 April.
Sulawesi 1.358°N, 124.792°E; summit elev. 1580 m
CVGHM reported that during the morning on 24 April diffuse white plumes rose 25-50 m above Tompaluan crater, in the saddle between the Lokon-Empung peaks. Later that day an eruption was accompanied by loud “thumping” noises heard at local observation posts, though fog prevented views of the crater. The next day diffuse white plumes rose 50-100 m above the crater. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-4).
México 19.023°N, 98.622°W; summit elev. 5426 m
CENAPRED reported that multiple gas-and-ash plumes rose from Popocatépetl on 18 April; one of the emissions was accompanied by increased incandescence in the crater. An explosion ejected incandescent fragments that landed on the N and NE flanks as far as 800 m from the crater. The fragments landed on snow and generated small lahars. A dense gas, steam, and ash plume drifted E and SE. On 19 April gas-and-ash plumes rose above the crater and drifted ESE, and incandescent fragments rolled 1 km down the flanks. The next day an episode of spasmodic tremor was accompanied by a dense plume of gas, water vapor, and ash that rose 1.5 km and drifted E. During 21-23 April gas-and-steam emissions that sometimes contained small amounts of ash drifted SE, E, and SW. Seismicity was low during 21-22 April and again increased on 23 April. That same day an ash plume drifted NE and incandescent fragments were ejected W. The Alert Level remained at Yellow Phase Three.
Ongoing activity was noted among the following volcanoes :
Etna, Sicily (Italy) – Karymsky, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) – Kilauea, Hawaii (USA) – Nevado del Ruiz (Colombia) – Puyehue-Cordón Caulle (Chile) – Reventador (Ecuador) – Santa María (Guatemala) – Shiveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia) – Tungurahua (Ecuador) - Villarrica (Chile)
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