Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Stromboli erupts again!

ROME - An Italian volcanic island popular with tourists has started to erupt more violently than usual, sending a flow of lava into the sea, emergency services said today, advising locals to keep away from the danger areas.

"There's a general alert," said a member of the Civil Protection for the Aeolian Islands, off Sicily. "The emergency services are monitoring the situation, clearing zones at risk ... But at the moment we don't foresee an evacuation."

Stromboli, a classic cone-shaped island, is a constantly active volcano, attracting thousands of visitors every year to climb to its summit and admire the regular blasts of molten rock, but more powerful eruptions can be dangerous.

The last time, in December 2002, a large eruption caused the island to be closed to visitors for months. Buildings around the coast were damaged when a huge chunk of rock broke off and plunged into the sea, causing a 10-metre tsunami.

The Nevado volcano forces residents to flee their land

Authorities order evacuations as the Nevado volcano bleches ash and threatens bigger eruptions.

The evacuation orders came as rivers started to burst their banks, raising fears that a major eruption of the volcano in the south-western Huila province could trigger deadly mudslides.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Residents were evacuated following display of activity from Mexican volcano

Mexico s National Center for Disaster Prevention informed Monday that over the past 24 hours the Popocatepetl Volcano spewed 11 low-intensity emissions accompanied by water vapor, gas and small amounts of ash.

The Center is monitoring the volcano s activity to detect any change and has issued a phase-two warning, restricting the presence of people in the zone.

Traffic is being controlled and people were advised to stay informed of any official communiqué on the condition of the volcano, which is in the state of Puebla, near the Mexican capital.

According to experts, 18 strong eruptions have been reported in Popocatepetl, one of Mexico s most active volcanoes since 1354.

The last violent eruption took place in December 2000, when thousands of people near the mountain were evacuated.

Nevado volcano erupts, forcing evacuation

Colombian authorities ordered villages evacuated on Monday after the Nevado volcano in the southwestern province of Huila belched ash and increased seismic activity threatened to trigger larger eruptions.

"We expect the volcano to continue erupting," said Alberto Nunez, head of Colombia's Geology Institute.

The evacuation order affects towns located near rivers in Huila and three other provinces that could be hit by avalanches caused a major eruption.

Nunez said Monday's eruption caused a landslide on the banks of one river and more were feared. No victims were immediately reported.

The biggest natural disaster in Colombian history occurred in 1985 when the central Nevado del Ruiz volcano erupted, killing more than 25,000 people.

Russian volcano's eruption poses no threat to population according to authorities

Russian officials say the eruption of a volcano poses no immediate threat to Kamchatka Peninsula populations. The Kluchevskaya Sopka volcano, Eurasia's tallest active volcano, beginning to erupt Saturday morning, but officials from the Russian Academy of Sciences Geophysical Service promptly said it poses no threat to area populations, Itar-Tass reported.

Despite causing hundreds of tremors throughout the area and having ejected clouds of steam and ash, the eruption has been tabbed a weak version by officials. "No lava flows on the volcano's slopes are seen," one scientist said. But experts warn the eruption could increase in activity, and within the coming month its lava lake could overflow and enhance the situation's level of danger.

Such a situation occurred back in early 2005, when lava ran down the volcano's sides for more than 1.4 miles and volcanic bombs were launched up to 3,280 feet into the air. Itar-Tass said eruptions occur at Kluchevskaya Sopka up to once every six years and therefore it is monitored on a regular basis.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Is there a hidden volcano on Czech-German border?

German and Czech scientists are looking for a volcano that they believe is hidden underground in the Cheb area, west Bohemia, and that is responsible for the rich mineral springs in west Bohemian spas.

According to the researches, the volcano is located on the Czech side of the border near the village of Novy Kostel north of Cheb, the German daily die Welt writes today.

The scientists have known for a long time that magma from volcanic eruptions is closer to the surface in the Bohemia, Bavaria and Saxony triangle than anywhere in the world. It lies in the depth of a mere 30 km and exerts high pressure.

"It is the only area in the large space between the Alps and Iceland where such activities can be watched," Horst Kaempf from the Potsdam-based Geological Research Centre told the paper.
Scientists believe that the hidden volcano lies on Czech territory judging by the symptoms of underground eruptions.

However, the site was practically inaccessible before the fall of the Iron Curtain. At present Czech and German researchers are looking for the volcano together.

According to Kaempf, the possibility of a new volcanic eruption is very small in the nearest period, which in geological terms is the next several thousand years.

Josef Horalek from the Czech Academy of Sciences Geophysical Institute says that the current research could contribute to the clarifying of the origin of a huge amount of compressed carbon dioxide gas that explains the rich sources of mineral water in the area that is pushed up to the surface by the compressed CO2.

Quakes are relatively frequent in the Cheb area. The strongest earthquakes there were registered in the autumn of 1962, at the end of 1985 and the beginning of 1986, in 1997 and in 2000.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Interested to visit volcanoes? Check out the top 10 list!

Numerous volcanoes are found in the different parts of the world. The most popular ones were picked based on their beautiful environment and their power. By power, we mean their status as causes of mass destruction or their potential to cause severe damage in their surroundings.
Mount Vesuvius in

History has it that Mount Vesuvius has erupted 36 times with the first one being the most destructive. It was in 79 A.D. when Vesuvius erupted burying in ash 3,360 wealthy Romans living in the nearby town of Pompeii. The disaster was said to be memorable as it ash fall preserved perfectly the town including its victims and their pets. For visitors hungry to discover the volcano’s history, the site is a must-see.

Mount Fuji in Japan. Mount Fuji, standing at more than 12,000 feet, is the highest mountain in Japan and one of the most famous in the world. Although covered with clouds through most part of the year, Mount Fuji can be seen on a clear day from Tokyo which is 60 miles away. Tokyo was actually buried in ash when Mount Fuji erupted in 1707. The volcano is open for visitors anytime of the year but its facilities are open only during July and August.

Kilauea in The Big Island of Hawaii. This volcano, considered a national park, is the most visited among all other volcanoes in the world. It also claims to have the longest uninterrupted eruption in world history because of its unceasing explosions since 1983. So if you want real experience with lava flow going down the slopes anytime of the year, then Kilauea is the place to go. From there, you can go to Mauna Loa nearby which is the world’s biggest volcano standing at more than 19,000 cubic miles.

Pacaya in Guatemala City. Pacaya remains to be in an active state since 1965. But despite this, climbers continue to visit the place which is at over 8,000 feet. Pacaya is Guatemala’s most frequently climbed mountain. Tourists used to flock to this volcano but since bandit problems broke out, guided tours for beginners are no longer permitted.

Mt. Bromo in East Java, Indonesia. Mt. Bromo, located in the Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park, is famous for its beautiful peak. This active volcano last erupted in December 2000. Visitors can only go there through a horseback ride as the volcano’s location is not very accessible for travelers.

During fall notably every November, an extraordinary Kasodo ceremony takes place. During the rite, a religious leader throws offerings into the mouth of the volcano afterwhich the locals attending the ceremony either jump into or run down the crater to try to catch the things that were thrown. They believe that getting the offerings will give them prosperity.

Soufriere Hills in Monseratt, West Indies. This volcano first erupted in July 1995 burying in ash Monserrat’s capital of Plymouth as well as the island’s whole southern part. Most of the residents then moved to a safer zone in the northern part which, unfortunately, was also put into risk by the volcano’s second series of eruptions beginning in March 2000. This caused Monserrat’s population to lessen from the original 11,000 to only 4,000 today. Monserrat was once called by the British as “the Emerald Isle of the Carribbean.”

Popocatepetl in Mexico. This volcano is the second highest in Mexico standing at more than 17,000 feet. Called “smoking mountain” by the Aztecs and “popo” by the locals, Popocatepetl is one of the most active volcanoes in Mexico. It has erupted 36 times since the Spaniards arrived in the country in 1519 A.D. and in 1995. Although not as popular as the other regions in Mexico, Popocatepetl has its own share of visitors.

Mount Sakurajima in Kagoshima, Japan. Sakurajima stands at 3,663 feet and is one of the world’s most active volcanoes today. It has erupted between 100 and 200 times each year since 1955. It has its own island which can be reached by a ferry boat from downtown Kagoshima.

Shishaldin Volcano in Unimak Island, Alaska. Standing at more than 9,00 feet, this volcano is the highest peak in the Aleutian islands. Its first eruption was recorded in 1775 and has since erupted at least 27 times. Shisaldin last erupted in 1995 and is considered an active volcano.

Mount Pelee in St. Pierre, Martinique. Mount Pelee first erupted in 1902 claiming the lives of more than 29,000 residents and destroying ships docked in the harbor. St. Pierre, where Pelee is located, used to be the capital of Martinique. The town was restored by the elder residents after the eruption of Pelee.

New technology allows to create 3-D images of volcanoes

Piton de la Fournaise, a basaltic volcano located on the Indian Ocean's Reunion island, is one of the most active volcanoes in the world.

Over the last two centuries, eruptions have occurred almost every year. Detailed structural images of volcanic interiors can theoretically be constructed through analysis of earthquake data, but are hampered by irregular distributions of earthquake sources. Brenguier et al. sought to dissect seismic noise retrieved from Piton de la Fournaise, in order to gain understanding about the three- dimensional interior of the volcano.

By using surface waves extracted from seismic noise, the authors developed a three- dimensional seismic wave velocity model of the volcano. This model agrees well with previous results and allows the authors to image the shape of the magma conduit system.

Further, they performed a preliminary study showing that a few months of seismic noise data will yield similar three-dimensional results to that obtained from a full year's data, suggesting that their method could be applied to other volcanoes in order to improve volcanic hazard assessment.

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