Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Volcano still threatens



The Chaparrastique volcano near San Miguel, El Salvador, continues to show signs of activity weeks after its  December 29 eruption.  From the summit of the volcano, plumes of smoke with sulphur dioxide (SO2) continue to rise in the air.  The monitoring station operated by the Ministry of Natural Resources shows that SO2 levels can rise to unhealthy levels when wind conditions are wrong.

Scientists are also measuring micro quakes within the volcano, primarily on Chaparrastique's north slopes.

Location of micro-quakes

Increasing magnitude of micro-quakes

As a result of this activity, the Ministry has been repeatedly including this sentence in all of its public statements about the volcano:
Considering the current behavior of the volcano, the possibility of another eruption in the coming days through the central crater or its flanks cannot be ruled out.

With the prospect of another volcanic event, the Ministry has installed multiple monitoring devices including infrared cameras, sonographs, and other sensors hopefully to provide advance warning to the neighboring communities.   Detailed evacuation routes are being mapped out. The Salvadoran armed forces opened an encampment of soldiers trained in disasters and search and rescue to provide immediate assistance if needed.  The Salvadoran Red Cross has stockpiled thousands of dust masks in the area in the event of more ash.  

Hopefully none of this is needed, and the volcano will go back to sleep.  

1 comment:

Lawrence M. Ladutke said...

OK, there is a simple solution to volcanos in El Salvador--build a hotel next to it!

(El volcan, como volcan, era ultraizquierdista....)