Eruption Update for December 17, 2012: Tungurahua, Lokon and Tolbachik

Rocky Planet iconRocky Planet
By Erik Klemetti
Dec 18, 2012 3:20 AMNov 20, 2019 2:20 AM


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The eruption plume from Tungurahua on December 16, 2012. Image via @Tavi53 Quick update for today - only 4 shopping days until Maya Apocalypse! Ecuador We've seen a couple spectacular images of explosions from Ecuador's currently noisiest volcano, Tungurahua. This rejuvenated activity in December has promoted evacuations of people living near the volcano as both ash fall and pyroclastic flows are a very real hazard. The plume reached as high as 3 km / 16,500 feet over the weekend and seismicity remains high -- all of which has the volcano on Orange Alert by the national civil defence agency of Ecuador. Indonesia Across the globe in Indonesia, Lokon has also been keeping active with numerous explosions, like this one from earlier today. That same brief Reuters report claims that Lokon has experienced over 800 explosions over the last 6 months, an impressive number to say the least. The plumes from the explosions are reaching 3-4 km / 11-14,000 feet. Lokon is joined by Paluweh in this week's Global Volcanism Program Weekly Volcanic Activity Report and another 6 volcanoes are on Orange Alert status according to PVMBG. Russia

The eruption of Tolbachik is still ongoing as this recent Terra image shows. Even with its remote location on the Kamchatka Peninsula, the eruption is drawing tourists - and I suppose it isn't a shock considering how impressive the lava flows are (see below -- be sure to check out all the images in the KVERT gallery). Some people are also trying to connect this fairly small eruption to my favorite, the Maya Apocalypse, claiming a sign of the end will be eruptions. Of course, as we all know, eruptions occur all the time, so why is this eruption in one of the most volcanically-active places on the planet a harbinger of doom? It isn't. The latest GVP Report has the lava flows stretching 17-20 km from the vent, quite the distance for any lava flow, and the alert level remains at Orange.

A lava flows from the November/December 2012 eruption of Tolbachik in Russia. Image taken December 15, 2012 by Yu. Demyanchuk / KVERT Quick links

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