Updates from Galeras in Colombia and Sinabung/Merapi in Indonesia.
I write the Eruptions blog on Big Think. I've been mesmerized with volcanoes (and geology) all my life. It helps that part of my family comes from the shadow of Nevado del Ruiz in Colombia, where I could see first hand the deadly effects of volcanic eruptions. Since then, I've taken a bit of a winding path to become a volcanologist. I started as a history major at Williams College, almost went into radio, but ended up migrating to geology, including an undergraduate thesis on Vinalhaven Island, Maine. I followed this up by changing coast to get my Ph.D. from Oregon State University. Then I ran a MC-ICP-MS lab at University of Washington for a spell (and wrote for an indie rock website). I spent three years as a postdoctoral scholar at University of California - Davis studying the inner workings of magmatic systems. I am now an assistant professor at Denison University and have projects in New Zealand, Chile and Oregon.
I am fascinated by volcanoes, their eruptions and how those eruptions interact with the people who live around the volcanoes. I started this blog after getting frustrated with the news reports of volcanic eruptions. Most of them get the information wrong and/or are just sensationalistic. I will try to summarize eruptions as they occur, translate some of the volcanic processes that are happening and comment on the reports themselves.
And no matter what people tell you, I definitely do not have a cat named Tephra. (OK, I do).
You can find out more about my research by visiting my website. If you have any comments, questions or information, feel free to contact me at eruptionsblog at gmail dot com.
A number of Eruptions readers have noted reports that Galeras in Colombia appears to be increasing its activity this week. Well, the rumors are true - an official from the Ministry of the Interior said (spanish) that seismicity, gas emissions and a renewed thermal anomaly at the volcano all point towards a potential eruption at Galeras*. INGEOMINAS, the Colombian geologic survey, has not changed the Alert Status (spanish) at the volcano, keeping it at Yellow (below Orange and Red). Galeras has has two periods this year (August and February) of increased eruptive activity. (*As an aside, Google Translate can be very high in the unintentional humor department. From one of the Galeras articles this week (translated from spanish): "The volcano has filed a change of activity." How nice to file with the proper authorities.)
Meanwhile, over in Indonesia, it appears that Sinabung and Merapi are both steaming away. There isn't much in the way of details of their current activity, but there is still news about the refugees (indonesian) from the initial evacuation of the area near Sinabung. The volcano might have seemed to settled down and left the news, but many refugees have not been allowed to return home as the volcano continues to be restless - leading to corruption in the camps. You can still check out the Sinabung webcam.
The threat of Merapi producing a significant eruption (indonesian) seems to be up as well. Volunteers are already getting prepared for an eruption of the volcano and evacuation centers are being set up for potential refugees, which would be its first since 2007. A recent GVP Weekly Volcanic Activity Report mentioned that Merapi has shown increased seismicity, continued inflation and repeated plumes from the summit crater. This week, the Volcanological Survey of Indonesia placed Merapi on a level III alert (of V) and activity near the volcano has been banned - meaning over 39,000 people will need to be evacuated. Remember, thousands of people live on the slopes of the volcano and they have been warned of the potential threat of renewed activity. Merapi produced an eruption in 1930 that killed over 1,300 people.
UPDATE: Here is a little more info on the activity at Merapi and the related evacuations from the Jakarta Globe. There is also a new article on cameras being set up around the volcano as well - cameras that look like will be accessible on the internet.
More details about all these volcanoes as I find it.
Top left: Merapi steaming in an undated photo.
Long hidden under trees, it's utterly massive
Antimicrobial resistance is growing worldwide, rendering many "work horse" medicines ineffective. Without intervention, drug-resistant pathogens could lead to millions of deaths by 2050. Thankfully, companies like Pfizer are taking action.
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- Without intervention, resistant pathogens could result in 10 million annual deaths by 2050.
- By taking a multi-faceted approach—inclusive of adherence to good stewardship, surveillance and responsible manufacturing practices, as well as an emphasis on prevention and treatment—companies like Pfizer are fighting to help curb the spread.
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- Christmas was heavily influenced by the Roman festival of Saturnalia.
- The historical Jesus was not born on December 25th as many contemporary Christians believe.
- Many staple Christmas traditions predated the festival and were tied into ancient pagan worship of the sun and related directly to the winter solstice.
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