Fogo volcano erupts after 20 years of sleep, evacuations in progress, Cape Verde Islands

Fogo volcano erupts after 20 years of sleep, evacuations in progress, Cape Verde Islands

Fogo, a volcano in the Cape Verde archipelago located off the coast of West Aftica, started erupting around 11:00 UTC on Sunday, November 23, 2014, after almost 20 years of calm period. The eruption prompted nation's prime minister Jose Maria Neves to call for evacuations of Cha das Caldeiras on the slopes of the volcano. Toulouse VAAC has set Aviation Color Code to Red.

Neves said in yesterday's statement that the eruption is at the same place where last eruption occurred in 1995 and that it seems much stronger. He explained that meteorological and geophysical services have been warning that seismic activity has intensified few days before the eruption started. 

According to data received, the eruption is comparable or stronger to that of 1951 and things could further deteriorate, Neves said.

"We've called on people to heed the authorities' instructions. People should abandon Cha das Caldeiras," Neves said referring to a hillside community.

Animation below shows the ash cloud as observed by EUMETSAT's Meteostat-10 satellite from 04:15 UTC on November 23 - 15:15 UTC on November 24 and shown in the RGB dust product, a real-time view of which can be found here:

A photograph posted on the local RTC TV station website showed a huge plume of smoke rising into the sky, visible from the capital Praia on a neighboring island. (Reuters)

Fogo eruption on November 23, 2014. Image credit: TCV

Geologic summary

The island of Fogo consists of a single massive stratovolcano that is the most prominent of the Cape Verde Islands. The roughly circular 25-km-wide island is truncated by a large 9-km-wide caldera that is breached to the east and has a headwall 1 km high. The caldera is located asymmetrically NE of the center of the island and was formed as a result of massive lateral collapse of the ancestral Monte Armarelo edifice.

A very youthful steep-sided central cone, Pico, rises more than 1 km above the caldera floor to about 100 m above the caldera rim, forming the 2829 m high point of the island. Pico, which is capped by a 500-m-wide, 150-m-deep summit crater, was apparently in almost continuous activity from the time of Portuguese settlement in 1500 CE until around 1760. Later historical lava flows, some from vents on the caldera floor, reached the eastern coast below the breached caldera. (GVP)


Zarp 3333 6 years ago

Take a look at the map and tell me the computer models aren't fear mongering. How could an island the size of a pebble in a small pond cause a wave that would even make it to shore, much less flood it. I say controlled media fear porn.

Gertjan Zwiggelaar 6 years ago

Some years ago I saw some computer models which indicated that if that volcano goes up in an unprecedented manner, and a good part of the island slides west into the Atlantic, the resultant tsunami will inundate the entire east coast of the United States to a height of about a 100 story building and going inland about 500 miles. I would be keeping a careful watch on this unfolding potential catastrophe.

AnteroA (@Gertjan Zwiggelaar) 6 years ago

I do not agree with fear-mongering scenarios like that.Love and Light and Peace to everyone.

Bob Smith (@AnteroA) 6 years ago

That was not fear mongering, that was a factual statement. That information was actually on the Discovery Channel and several others. There were several leading scientist that were involved with the research.

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