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Chaitén’s Fury Ending?

Posted by feww on May 31, 2008

Chaitén Update # 3

Is Weary Chaitén Ready to Rest?

Chaitén continues to erupt, although a decline in the height of eruption column in the last two days has been reported. A decline also in its seismic activity is reducing the probability of larger explosive eruptions, though they are not entirely ruled out.

Air Lines Resume Flights Over Central and Southern Chile

Airlines resumed flights to most of southern Chile airports on Thursday after they were briefly suspended because of the high concentration of ash in the atmosphere.

Flights to Puerto Montt and Temuco remain on stand by until further notice; however, flights to Punta Arenas and Balmaceda have resumed.

Chaitén volcano started erupting May 2, after at least 9,000 years of dormancy.

Typical eruption column of Chaiten Volcano, Chile, on May 26, 2008, between stronger explosive activity. The circular caldera rim is 3 km (1.9 miles) in diameter, which was formed about 9,400 years ago. A lava dome that erupted sometime later is the knobby feature between the billowing ash and rim on the left. A new lava dome is growing in the caldera but it is out of view behind eruption column. U.S. Geological Survey photograph by J.N. Marso. Caption: Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

Cerro Azul Volcano Erupts

Meanwhile the 1,700-meter high Cerro Azul volcano erupted on Thursday after 10 years of inactivity. Cerro Azul is located on Isabela, the largest of the Galapagos islands.

Cerro Azul volcano at the SW tip of Isabela Island. Photo by Tom Simkin (Smithsonian Institution). Image Maty be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

The Galápagos archipelago, a province of Ecuador, has a population of around 40,000 and is located the eastern Pacific Ocean at 525 nautical miles (972 km/604 miles) off the west coast of South America. The sparsely archipelago is home to “Galápagos,” the Spanish name for the Giant Land Tortoises that inhabit the islands.

Satellite photo of the Galápagos islands (names of the visible main islands are overlayed).

Unlike the 1998 Cerro Azul eruption in which several giant tortoise were destroyed by molten lava, despite a rescue operation by helicopters, it is thought that the current eruption poses no danger to the animals.

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