Not surprisingly, we’ve been very distracted this week by the activity at Grímsvötn, but there has been other volcano news while all eyes have been on Iceland. I’ll try to catch us up on some of this activity:
Taal: Before this unexpected eruption in Iceland, we were all closely watching the rumbling in the Philippines. Well, little has changed at Taal – there are still earthquakes under the caldera and people are still resistant to moving away from the potential danger zone on Volcano Island. There was a fish kill in Taal Lake this week that has been blamed on waste from pig farms rather than any volcanic activity, but such fish kills could happen if volcanic activity was approaching. Seismicity is relatively low right now – some days have as little has 4-5 earthquakes, however the lake on Volcano Island has continued to increase in temperature and decrease in pH (more acidic). PHIVOLCS has kept the volcano at Alert Status 2.
Mayon: Meanwhile, another Philippine volcano is becoming more restless as well. PHIVOLCS reported 38 earthquakes at Mayon over the last 24 hours, with weak steaming and incandescence at the summit. The volcano has also experienced slight inflation since March, which is an ominous sign, suggesting new eruptions might be on the way. However, the Alert Status remains at Level 1.
Telica: The Nicaraguan volcano is still stirring, with hundreds evacuated last week and authorities warning airlines about the potential ash hazard from the volcano. Telica is still producing small eruptive plumes of ~600 meters (see top left). Some of the images of the eruption suggest pyroclastic flow generation as well. Over 800 earthquakes were recorded at the volcano in 12 hours on May 24. COMUPRED, the Nicaragua emergency management agency, is prepared to evacuate upwards of 5,000 people if the eruptions become more intense as INETER has not ruled out larger explosions from the volcano.
Tungurahua: Not a lot to report on the Ecuadoran volcano – but I was amused to see that the winning question for this year’s National Geography Bee was concerning the location of Tungurahua. You never know when that volcano knowledge might come in useful, eh?
Volcano Report: And if you have an Android phone, you can try out a new App that summarizes volcanic activity worldwide. No luck for me as I have an iOS handheld, but any Android user should check it out and report back.
Top left: The steaming summit region of Telica in Nicaragua seen earlier this week.