Peru's Most Active Volcano Strikes Again
April 07, 2014; 3:33 AM
The eruption of Mount Ubinas, a volcano in southern Peru, continues to cause disruption for locals even days after the explosion.
On Monday morning, the eruption spewed smoke, ash and toxic gases for a thousand meters, according to Peru This Week. This eruption was one that scientists saw building for days.
Click Here to see a live webcam of Ubinas.
People in the nearby village of Querapi were evacuated and relocated last Saturday. The northerly winds were blowing the ash from the volcano to the town just to the south of Ubinas' base. Many others nearby were already suffering from respiratory problems, including those in the town of Ubinas, named after the volcano.
Residents of both towns were being provided with safety equipment, reported El Comercio. The Civil Defense dispersed protective glasses and masks.
The ash that the volcano emits is a dangerous and lingering hazard. It affects not only nearby people, but also animals using the pastures and water that become contaminated.
Because of the large area the ash has fallen, cleanup will be slow. The people of Querapi will likely be moving their village permanently to Pampas de Hawai, to avoid additional air quality and health problems the volcano could create.
The still debated question is what caused the Ubinas eruption.
Some seismologists claim that the recent 8.2 magnitude earthquake in Chile on April 1 could have caused enough "geological instability" to affect the volcano and causing the eruption on Tuesday.
However, Peru's geological and mining agency (Ingemmet) says that Ubinas has been active since September of 2013, putting the volcano on their radar for the last six months.
Last year, the government declared a temporary state of emergency in the nine surrounding districts when activity in September began to emit streams of ash.
In recent weeks, Ingemmet also noticed an increased buildup in lava inside the volcano, reported the Latin Times. This indicated that an eruption could be imminent.
Looking forward, specialists at the Peruvian Geophysical Institute (IGP) say that, although there could be an increase in magma in the volcano's crater, they are not expecting any sudden eruption to disperse it from the center, said the Peruvian Times.
Mount Ubinas is considered most active volcano in Peru, with the oldest eruptions dating back to 1550. The volcano was dormant for nearly 40 years before a state of emergency was prompted by an ash eruption in 2006. The activity in the volcano died down again until being declared active only a few months ago.