Monday, May 31, 2010

Impressive Photo of Sinkhole in Zone 2

Click the photo to see larger and much larger versions.

This sinkhole formed in Zone 2 of Guatemala City during tropical storm Agatha. It swallowed a three-story building and eleven homes which are at the bottom of the 180-plus foot deep hole.

While this sinkhole formed seemingly as a result of the heavy rains from the tropical storm, the cause is more likely due to years of pumping out of groundwater. Groundwater provides some of the pressure that supports the soil above. When the water is removed and the hydrostatic pressure falls, the ground above can collapse.

Volcan Pacaya Erupting Again

INSIVUMEH released a news bulletin a short while ago:

Volcan Pacaya began a new eruptive phase this morning with strong Strombolian explosions at approximately one minute intervals, launching ash 500 to 800 meters (1,500 to 2,500 feet) into the air.

Where the ash will fall depends on wind direction.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Pacaya Eruption Videos!

Here are some good videos of Volcan Pacaya's eruption last night, May 27, 2010:

Pacaya Volcano

Last night (Thursday night, May 27, 2010) Volcan Pacaya had an event at 6:55 PM local time. This morning I've gotten some concerned questions from overseas about Pacaya's eruption.

There is no problem, no effects in Eastern Guatemala. The problem is limited to the usual places that get ashfalls when Pacaya has an event, that is the skirts of the volcano itself, parts of Esquintla, Sacatepequez, and Guatemala City, nowhere near Rio Dulce.

Pacaya's ash is essentially black sand and parts of Guatemala City got up to a couple of centimeters of it. The mess is made a bit worse by the rain and it is hoped that it can be kept out of the sewers and storm drains otherwise it will plug those up and make a bigger mess.

Pacaya is an active volcano and eruptions like this happen from time to time. Pacaya is a Strombolian volcano so it produces a combination of lava flow and lava fountain, punctuated by explosions that hurl glowing rock and boulders in all directions, much like a fireworks display.

Pacaya Volcano, originally uploaded by Karlbert.