Updates from Galeras in Colombia and Sinabung/Merapi in Indonesia.
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.