Friday, July 29, 2005

Nicaragua may face volcano eruption

The Nicaraguan Territorial Studies Institute (Ineter) Thursday declared a state of "green" alert to warn citizens of a possible large-scale eruption of the Concepcion volcano, some 120 km southeast of Managua.

People from Ometepe Island in Nicaragua Lake were alarmed by the explosion they heard in the morning coming from the Concepcion volcano, which sent ash raining down over their houses.
Ineter seismologist Virginia Tenorio told the press that since Tuesday, the center started to observe a small increase in the activity inside Concepcion on Ometepe Island.

"What concerns us is that there have not been seismic (tremors)resulting from the volcanic activity, which means a major eruptioncould happen," Tenorio said.

The 1,620-meter volcano is one of the most active in Nicaragua and has had permanent, low-intensity activity with small seismic tremors, constantly releasing gases and creating small explosions in the crater.

The Concepcion volcano has registered 17 eruptions since 1883. Moderate eruptions from the volcano in the 1970s and 1980s caused lava flows. The latest eruption was in 1999.

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