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The Mountain of Blue Fire

Nature has a way of continually surprising us and inspiring awe within us, and it seems there are just as many fantastical wonders t...


DPWH to build 'fence' around Mayon Volcano

July 05, 2007
The Department of Public Works and Highways in Bicol will virtually "fence" Mayon Volcano with an experimental structure to lessen the impact of lahar floods during heavy downpour and typhoons in Albay. Some Php 770 million worth of calamity mitigating structures would be built around Mayon this month as part of the government's aggressive rehabilitation programs on areas devastated by five typhoons last year, notably super howler "Reming." Some 1,500 people were buried alive last year by rampaging lahar mudflows and washed away by boulder-carrying flash floods. A boulder dike will soon rise around Mayon Volcano that would protect populated areas. They can not yet give assurance these structures are safe, but engineers are claiming the project would lessen the impact of lahar floods to a greater extent compared to mere dredging activities. The structures would include boulder dikes, river re-channeling or dredging, reviving of eroded and damaged waterways and revetments. The disaster mitigating structures would include the restoration of the Yawa River system and the reviving of the Padang river channel, the dredging and rechanneling of the Tagas-Binitayan river in Daraga town and the restoration of the Camalig-Guinobatan-Libon river basin that would flush flood waters out to San Miguel Bay in Camarines Sur.


HAWAII - Activity at Big Island's Kilauea is heightening as the eruption of the island's youngest volcano entered a new phase. Lava flowed Monday on the collapsed floor of Kilauea volcano's Pu'u O'o crater. Magma is ponding near the center of the crater. With lava once again flowing across the collapsed floor of the Pu'u O'o crater, the Kilauea volcano eruption that began in 1983 may once again present a spectacle for visitors to Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. It could take awhile for that lava to once again flow from the crater all the way into the ocean, since the floor of the crater collapsed by at least 330 feet during the eruption pause. Lava was last seen at the Poupou ocean entry on June 20, but the supply of magma to Pu'u O'o apparently was temporarily cut off during a swarm of earthquakes that began June 17. Magma then was diverted into the upper East Rift area, causing the rift zone to expand by nearly 3 feet. A small eruption on June 19 from the upper East Rift covered almost 2 acres with lava, but quickly stalled. The eruption from Pu'u O'o has been nearly continuous from 1992 to 2007, and the recent pause was the first stall in the eruption since Dec. 15, 2000. The current Pu'u O'o-Kupaianaha eruption of Kilauea is the most voluminous outpouring of lava on the volcano's East Rift zone in the past 500 years. The eruption has added nearly 500 acres to Kilauea's southern shore, destroyed 189 homes and other structures, and buried long stretches of highway. Photo Above: Lava flowed Monday on the collapsed floor of Kilauea volcano's Pu'u O'o crater. Magma is ponding near the center of the crater. USGS photo

SPAIN - Compared with anything that had gone on before in living memory, the second quarter of 2004 was frenetic at the Mount Teide volcano when its seismic activity looked like it was going into overdrive and scarcely a day passed without news of tremors or rumors of plumes of smoke. Since then the mountain has been fairly quiet. A couple of weeks might pass, then a spate of small, imperceptible trembles occurs and the rest is silence. They might be tiny, but those tremors are not being ignored. Far from it. El Teide is “a high risk volcano beneath which activity is taking place.” “Something’s going on with Mount Teide and it has prompted a host of investigators from home and abroad to take a look and see what might be happening. There are Spanish scientists from a number of regions as well as teams from Italy, Switzerland, the UK, Mexico and the USA all working on the data as it comes...Mount Teide could go any way. It could close down and go back to sleep for another extended period, or it could become wide awake. The only certainty we have is that the volcano is showing signs of activity and however you analyse them all the statistics available appear to indicate that there is a problem in Teide’s magmatic system.” One of the most puzzling pieces of information to have emerged - and one which could prove to be highly significant - is that the whole archipelago is inching its way towards Africa. All of it, that is, except for Mount Teide itself and its immediate environs, dead centre of the island, which is moving in the opposite direction. It’s still too early to say what that might mean. But one might expect that something’s gotta give. The outward sign of the inward titanic geological struggle are some deformities and subsidences in certain mountainous areas over Santiago del Teide.

RUSSIA - Klyuchevskoy Volcano in the north central region of the Kamchatka Peninsula is blasting ash up to 32,000 feet in the air, and has diverted air traffic headed toward the Far East. This is the LARGEST ERUPTION TO OCCUR IN THE NORTH PACIFIC IN A DECADE. Klyuchevskoy’s been erupting since January, but the largest explosions in the eruption began June 28, 2007. These explosions created a 1,360-mile-long band of ash, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk to the Aleutian Islands, clogging well-used air routes with volcanic ash that can prove deadly for aircraft. Volcanic ash moves quickly through the atmosphere. Although Klyuchevskoy is located in Kamchatka, its ash crossed the Bering Sea and reached Unimak Island in the Aleutians within one day. Photo Above: This Image captures strombolian activity and lava flows of Klyuchevskoy volcano on May 31, 2007. Credit: Photo by Yu Demyanchuk
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