Fuego volcano enters new eruptive phase, Guatemala

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Guatemalan Fuego volcano has entered its 4th eruptive phase of the year on November 6, 2018.

The volcano experienced weak to moderate explosions, with ash plumes rising up to 4 800 m (15 700 feet) above sea level and traveling 12 – 15 km (7 – 9 miles) to the west and southwest.

Weak sounds similar to train locomotives were heard every 8 to 14 minutes.

Ash fall was reported in Panimaché, El Porvenir, Morelia, Santa Sofia, Sangre de Cristo, Finac Palo Verde, and San Pedro Yepocapa.

The incandescent material was seen rising 200 – 300 m (650 – 1 000 feet) above the crater, generating avalanches and impacting the vegetation towards the Seca and Taniluya and feeding a 1 000 m (3 300 feet) long lava flow.

“At the moment, the seismicity has decreased. However, the possibility that new lava flows are generated in the different ravines, as well as events with pyroclastic flows is not ruled out,” INSIVUMEH said in a special bulletin issued during the afternoon hours (LT) of November 6. 

CONRED advised the general population to be attentive to the information that authorities share through social networks, newsletters or media, avoid rumors and share information from official sources.

People living in areas near the volcano are recommended to follow instructions given by the community leaders.

Images courtesy CultureVolcan, ESA/Copernicus

A major eruption started at the volcano around 16:00 UTC (10:00 local time) on June 3, 2018. The eruption ejected volcanic ash up to 10 km (32 800 feet) above sea level and produced massive lava and pyroclastic flows in its most violent eruption in more than 40 years.

It was Fuego’s second major eruption this year and the most violent since 1974.

Lava and pyroclastic flows descended down the mountain and into nearby communities while volcanic ash rained down on communities up to 30 km (18 miles) from the volcano.

According to official sources, at least 159 people were killed, 57 injured and 256 remained missing as of July 30, 2018.

However, unofficial reports made by independent researchers mention a very real possibility that thousands of people living near the volcano were killed.

Featured image: Fuego erupting on November 6, 2018. Credit: ESA/Copernicus Sentinel 2

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