Ubinas Volcano Erupting April 20, 2006
Peru's Ubinas volcano has emerged from four years of dormancy, erupting five times over the last few days.
The mountain erupted two times on Monday, again on Tuesday and then two more times Wednesday, according to the news website Peru This Week
Ubinas volcano is located in Peru's Moquenega region about 70 kilometers from the city of Arequipa.
Orlando Macedo, Arequipa chief of the Geophysical Institute of Peru, said Tuesday that the volcano emitted ash for more than one hour, according to the Spanish-language news site RPP
Monitoring equipment indicated the volcanic explosion occurred at a depth of 1,000 meters, RPP reported.
Peru and much of South America has been dealing with an extreme cold front blowing across the continent from Antarctica. Peru seems to have been the worst hit, with the heaviest snowfall the nation has seen in a decade
The Geophysical Institute of Peru said the volcanic explosions were phreatic in nature, meaning a build-up of precipitation, in this case snowfall, on the volcano caused the pressure beneath the surface to build.
As water continues to seep into the heated rocks, the explosions will continue, according to Erik Klemetti is an assistant professor of Geosciences at Denison University who frequently writes about volcanoes for Wired.com
The volcano spewed a plume of ash that fell to the ground as far as 10 kilometers away from Ubinas, Peru This Week reported, citing local news sources.
Jersey Mariño Salazar, head of Peru's Volcanological Observatory of the Institute of Geology, Mining, and Metallurgy, said that the ash column does not pose a danger to people or livestock at this time, as winds are blowing towards a mostly uninhabited area.
Due to the recent harsh winter weather, as many as 30,000 head of livestock have already been killed in Peru, Al Jazeera
Local and regional authorities plan to meet Wednesday to discuss any necessary actions, according to Peru This Week
Until 2006, the Ubinas volcano had not erupted for 40 years.
A team of researchers happened to be on the volcano when it erupted Monday, capturing the event on video.