Archived Volcano News - John Seach
January 2009

Reports by John Seach

Reports are posted in Eastern Australian Time (UT +10 hr).
Archived Volcano News
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Friday 30th January 2009
Relocation of Chaiten Town, Chile

The Government of Chile has announced that Chaiten town will eventually be relocated from its present position 9 km SSW of Chaiten volcano. Chaiten volcano erupted in May 2008 after being dormant for over 9000 years. The town was covered in ash and damaged by flooding from the ash-choked Blanco River. The town's 5,000 inhabitants were evacuated, and nearly 2,000 families received financial assistance. The government initially prohibited residents from returning but later lifted its ban. About 100 people now live in Chaiten town. An announcement, was made on Thursday 29th January by Interior Minister Edmundo Pérez Yoma about the future of Chaiten town. He said “As it has been since the eruption first began, our obligation as the government is to ensure safety and protect human lives,” said Pérez Yoma. The interior minister also announced that beginning in March, Futaleufú will replace Chaitén as the administrative capital of Region X. In order to prevent land speculation, the government has not yet announced where exactly it plans to relocate Chaitén. Possibilities reportedly include Bahía Pumalín, Santa Bárbara and Fandango. Edmundo Pérez Yoma said “We have told people many times that it is dangerous, that they cannot remain there, but we cannot force them (to leave)." The minister assured the government will respect the wishes of those who decide to stay in the area but insisted that no public funds will be allocated “to a city that we feel should not be located where it is”.
More on Chaiten Volcano...
Volcanoes of Chile...

Thursday 29th January 2009
Chaiten Volcano, Chile

Seismicity associated with the eruption of Chaitén volcano in Chile has decreased over the past week. Viscous lava is still being erupted into the dome, but this is occurring at a reduced rate. Dome collapse is still a danger, with pyroclastic flows potentially traveling down flanks of the volcano and valleys. On 19th of January there was a collapse of spines of the dome, with block and ash moving down the eastern and southeastern flank. During an overflight on 21st January the prominent spines were no longer present on the lava dome. Several steep landslides were visible on the eastern side of the dome. Thermal imaging shows many hotspots on the dome. The volcano is still at alert level RED due to the ongoing eruptions.
More on Chaiten Volcano...
Volcanoes of Chile...

Saturday 24th January 2009
Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii
A new lava ocean entry has occurred inside Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, for the first time since 2007. The western Prince lava flow reached the ocean at Waha`ula on Thursday 22nd January. The ocean entry was small and didn't produce steam. Waikupanaha ocean entry continues to be active. On Wednesday 21st January there were two earthquakes beneath the south summit caldera of Kilauea, and two on south flank faults. A small ash emission occurred at Halemaumau crater.
More on Kilauea Volcano...
Volcanoes of Hawaii...

Friday 23rd January 2009
Wurali Volcano, Indonesia

A magnitude 6.1 earthquake hit Wurali volcano on Friday 23rd January 2009 at 5:16 am, local time. The earthquake epicentre was located 7 km south of Damar Island, and the focus was at 141 km depth. Wurlali Volcano is located on Damar Island, Indonesia, 375 km NE of Dili, East Timor.
More on Wurali Volcano...

Volcanoes of Indonesia...

Friday 16th January 2009
Dieng Volcano, Indonesia

Dieng volcano in Indonesia has been raised from level I to II alert (out of maximum 4) after two phreatic eruptions on 15th January. The eruptions occurred at Sibanteng crater at 0800 and 0830 hr. Material was ejected 50 m from the crater. There has not been any increase in toxic gas at the volcano. It is recommended that residents and tourists stay more than 300 m away from the craters.
More on Dieng Volcano...

Volcanoes of Indonesia...

Friday 16th January 2009
Chaiten Volcano, Chile

During the week of 9-15 January, seismicity at Chaiten volcano in Chile has increased, and is related to dome growth in the crater. The dome has formed a steep slope and is at risk of generating pyroclastic flows.
More on Chaiten Volcano...

Volcanoes of Chile...

Saturday 10th January 2009
Rabaul Volcano, Papua New Guinea
Ash emissions from Rabaul volcano in Papua New Guinea closed Tokua airport between Monday and Friday this week. Hundreds of people have not been able to leave, or fly into East New Britain province. A north-west wind is pushing plumes towards Tokua airport 20 kilometres away. Some incandescent lava fragments were emitted from Tarvurvur cone. Most of the lava fragments fell back into the crater but some fell on the slopes of the volcano. A local shipping company has offered to take up to 400 passengers to an airport in nearby New Ireland Province, which is not affected by the volcano. Moderate level seismicity accompanied the eruptions. An earthquake occurred at about 07:47 a.m. yesterday (magnitude 5.6), and was located about 135 km southeast from Rabaul at a depth of about 40 km. The earthquake was tectonic in origin. People are advised to stay more than 2 km away from Tarvurvur cone due to ongoing explosive activity.
More on Rabaul Volcano...

Volcanoes of Papua New Guinea...

Saturday 10th January 2009
Yellowstone Volcano, USA
The continuing earthquake swarm under Yellowstone volcano has migrated NNE. In the past 24 hours there have been 7 earthquakes larger than magnitude 2.5, centered at a location 14 km NNE of Yellowstone lake. The largest earthquake had a magnitude of 3.3. There have been about 900 earthquakes at the volcano since December 26th. This is the largest earthquake swarm in 20 years at Yellowstone. There are no other signs of unrest at the volcano.
More on Yellowstone Volcano...

Volcanoes of USA...

Saturday 10th January 2009
Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii
Lava flows continue along the east rift zone at Kilauea volcano in Hawaii. Lava is flowing through tubes and entering the sea at Waikupanaha. Surface lava flows are visible on the coastal plain. Activity at Kilauea summit has almost ended. There has been no emission of ash, and the vent in Halemaumau crater is dark.
More on Kilauea Volcano...
Volcanoes of Hawaii...

Friday 9th January 2009
Poas Volcano, Costa Rica

A large earthquake (mag 6.1) occurred at Poas volcano on Thursday 8th January 2009. The epicentre was located 8 km east of the volcano summit. This was the largest earthquake to hit costa Rica in 150 years. Four people were killed by the earthquake. Poás is one of Costa Rica's most active volcanoes. The volcano is located within the Poas Volcano National Park.
More on Poas Volcano...

Volcanoes of Costa Rica...

Thursday 1st January 2009
Chaiten Volcano, Chile

Seismicity at Chaiten volcano has remained stable over the past few weeks, with 2-6 events per hour. On 25th and 28th December, ash emissions reached 2 km above the crater. A lava dome continues to grow in the crater, producing instability on the summit and flanks. Explosions from the lava dome are possible and create the risk of pyroclastic flows. The volcano remains at the highest alert level - RED.
More on Chaiten Volcano...

Volcanoes of Chile...