Central America VOlcanic Eruptions

New eruptions at Costa Rica’s Turrialba and Guatemala’s Fuego

New eruptions at Costa Rica's Turrialba and Guatemala's Fuego

A new eruption of Costa Rica’s Turrialba volcano took place at 03:37 UTC on June 25 (22:15 on June 24, local time). Dense fog is preventing estimation of volcanic cloud height. At the same time, volcanic ash produced by the fresh eruption of Guatemala’s Fuego volcano is reaching 4.9 km (16 000 feet) above sea level.

Tremors under Turrialba started increasing at 02:05 UTC and reached maximum at 02:40 UTC. This seismicity was accompanied by the occasional passive emission of ash. At the time, the direction of the wind was WNW.

A strong smell of sulfur was reported in Escazú (San Jose) and San Isidro De Heredia (Heredia), OVISICORI reported.

At 03:37 UTC (21:37 local time), the tremors further increased, RSN said. They were accompanied by the constant emission of ash. This time, winds direction was SW, Dr. Mauricio M. Mora said.

At the time of the RSN’s last report (05:00 UTC), ash was still coming out of the volcano.

This thermal image was recorded between 03:35 UTC and 03:51 UTC on June 25:

Meanwhile, Guatemala’s Fuego volcano is also erupting. At 04:45 UTC on June 25, volcanic ash cloud was near 4.9 km (16 000 feet) above sea level, the Washington VAAC reported. INSIVUMEH reported movement toward the WSW-SW, extending roughly 18.5 km (11.5 miles) from the summit.

Volcanic ash is seen in multi-spectral imagery, but it is difficult to see its complete view.

In a special bulletin issued at 04:40 UTC (22:40 local time), INSIVUMEH said the activity at the volcano is increasing. “Over the last 22 hours, Fuego volcano observatory reported increased number of explosions, constant rumblings, and strong shock waves. The seismic station FG3 recorded increased tremor and constant explosions.”

Two lava flows were observed on the southeast flank flowing into Las Lajas and El Jute drainages. They were about 2 km (1.2 miles) in length.

“At the time, this eruption is effusive in nature, however, there is a chance it could increase in the coming hours, with the possibility of pyroclastic flows, mainly on the southeast and southern flank,” INSIVUMEH said.

Geological summary


Turrialba, the easternmost of Costa Rica’s Holocene volcanoes, is a large vegetated basaltic-to-dacitic stratovolcano located across a broad saddle NE of Irazú volcano overlooking the city of Cartago. The massive 3340-m-high Turrialba is exceeded in height only by Irazú, covers an area of 500 sq km, and is one of Costa Rica’s most voluminous volcanoes.

Three well-defined craters occur at the upper SW end of a broad 800 x 2200 m summit depression that is breached to the NE. Most activity originated from the summit vent complex, but two pyroclastic cones are located on the SW flank. Five major explosive eruptions have occurred during the past 3500 years. A series of explosive eruptions during the 19th century were sometimes accompanied by pyroclastic flows. Fumarolic activity continues at the central and SW summit craters. (GVP)


Volcán Fuego, one of Central America’s most active volcanoes, is one of three large stratovolcanoes overlooking Guatemala’s former capital, Antigua. The scarp of an older edifice, Meseta, lies between 3 763 m (12 345.8 feet high Fuego and its twin volcano to the north, Acatenango. Construction of Meseta dates back to about 230 000 years and continued until the late Pleistocene or early Holocene. The collapse of Meseta may have produced the massive Escuintla debris-avalanche deposit, which extends about 50 km (31 miles) onto the Pacific coastal plain.

The growth of the modern Fuego volcano followed, continuing the southward migration of volcanism that began at Acatenango. In contrast to the mostly andesitic Acatenango, eruptions at Fuego have become more mafic with time, and most historical activity has produced basaltic rocks. Frequent vigorous historical eruptions have been recorded since the onset of the Spanish era in 1524 ,and have produced major ashfalls, along with occasional pyroclastic flows and lava flows. (GVP)

Featured image credit: RSN

from:    http://thewatchers.adorraeli.com/2016/06/25/new-eruptions-at-costa-rica-turrialba-and-guatemala-fuego-volcano/

Damaging Earthquake – Guatemala

Very Strong earthquake in Guatemala – 1 woman killed, many people injured

Last update: September 7, 2013 at 6:55 am by By Ashish Khanal

06:46 UTC : 30 people were injured when they fled from they houses and fell or caused traffic accidents. They all were carried to hospitals.

5:52 UTC : Unfortunately one woman from Coatepeque area suffered a heart attack due to the earthquake and died.
More than 40 people in different parts of Guatemala suffered a nervous breakdown or other kinds of shocks. The local fire fighters care for them. At least 11 people were injured by the direct shaking effects (falling debris, etc), among them a pregnant woman.

2:13 UTC: At least 20 people were injured after getting run over by traffic as they fled from their homes in San Marcos.

1:42 UTC:
-4 homes collapsed in San Miguel Sigüila, Quetzaltenango.
-A house collapsed in the village of San Sebastián Lemoa, Quiché.
-2 women were injured in San Marcos.
-There are damaged houses in Patzicia, Chimaltenango.
-A house caught on fire due to the quake in Tiquisate, Escuintla
-Damage can be seen on the roof of Rafael Landívar University.
-Ceiling fell on the Enriquez passageway in Xela.

1:14 UTC: There are collapsed and heavily damaged houses around Quetzaltenango. Also 1 person has been injured by falling debris in there.

1:08 UTC: Unconfirmed reports indicate that 3 houses, damaged on last years quake, have collapsed with no people inside.

1:03 UTC: People have been injured, most of them from traffic accidents.

12:49 UTC: There are reports of damaged houses as well as collapsed walls around Guatemala. A very big landslide has been reported in kilometer 214.

12:44 UTC: USGS expects that 41,000 people felt  a Very Strong shaking (Mercalli Scale of VII), 1,351,000 a strong shaking (MMI of VI) and almost 4 million people feeling a Moderate shaking (MMI V). If these values are correct then this is a very dangerous earthquake.

12:39 UTC: Damage has been reported in San Marcos, Guatemala. Broken windows have been observed in a municipal building of San Marcos.

12:37 UTC: Power is out in some locations around Guatemala. Landslides could had happened since the area has been hit by hard rains lately

12:33 UTC: EMSC is giving a magnitude of 6.5 at a depth of 95km and USGS is giving a M6.5 at a depth of 67km. Both calculations show that this was a deep earthquake.

161 km W of Guatemala City, Guatemala
28 km SW of San Marcos, Guatemala
8 km W of Nuevo Progreso, Guatemala


Most important Earthquake Data:

Magnitude : 6.5

Local Time (conversion only below land) : 2013-09-06 18:13:28

GMT/UTC Time : 2013-09-07 00:13:28

Depth (Hypocenter)  : 67 km

from:    http://earthquake-report.com/2013/09/07/very-strong-earthquake-guatemala-on-september-7-2013/

Mayan Frieze Found in Guatemala

Giant Mayan Frieze Tells Ancient Guatemala Story

Aug 9, 2013 01:23 PM ET // by Rossella Lorenzi

Archaeologists working in a buried Mayan pyramid in Guatemala have discovered an enormous inscribed frieze richly decorated with images of gods and rulers, the Guatemalan government announced.

Dating to the 6th century, the carving has been hailed by local authorities as “the most spectacular frieze seen to date” and one of the best-preserved pieces of Mayan art ever discovered.

It was found at the pre-Columbian archaeological site of Holmul, in the northern province of Peten, by Guatemalan archaeologist Francisco Estrada-Belli below a 65-foot-high pyramid which was built over it in the 8th century.

Measuring 26 feet by nearly 7 feet, the 1,400-year-old carvings decorated the outside of a mysterious multi-roomed rectangular building. Found when Estrada-Belli and his team excavated a tunnel left open by looters, the monumental artwork depicts human figures in a mythological setting, suggesting these may be deified rulers.

“This is a unique find. It is a beautiful work of art and it tells us so much about the function and meaning of the building, which was what we were looking for,” Estrada-Belli, a professor at Tulane University’s anthropology department, said.

Painted in red, with details in blue, yellow and green, the stucco frieze is elaborately descriptive. It shows three human figures wearing bird headdresses and jade jewels. They are seated cross-legged on top of the head of a mountain spirit called witz.

A cartouche on the headdress contains glyphs identifying each individual by name, but only the central figure’s name is now readable. It says: Och Chan Yopaat, meaning “The Storm God enters the sky.”

Below the main character, two feathered serpents emerge from the mountain spirit and form an arch with their bodies. Under each of them is a seated figure of an aged god holding a sign that reads “First tamale.”

In front of the serpents’ mouths are the two additional human figures, also seated on mountain spirit heads.

An inscription of 30 glyphs in a band that runs at the base of the structure reveals the building was commissioned by Ajwosaj Chan K’inich, the ruler of Naranjo, a powerful kingdom to the south of Holmul in the northeast of Guatemala.

According to Alex Tokovinine, a Harvard University Maya epigrapher, the text places the building in the decade of the 590s. It also reveals a power struggle between two rival kingdoms — Tikal and the Snake Lords — fighting for control of the region.

Homul, the city-state where the frieze was found, once belonged to Tikal’s kingdom, but its rulers switched sides. In this view, the frieze would be a tribute to Homul’s defection.

Indeed, in the inscription, Ajwosaj, who was a vassal of the Snake Lords, claims to have restored the local ruling line and patron deities.

“Ajwosaj was one of the greatest rulers of Naranjo. The new inscription provides the first glimpse of the remarkable extent of Ajwosaj’s political and religious authority,” Tokovinine said.

It isn’t the first finding made by Estrada-Belli and his team at the mysterious building. Last year, the archaeologist unearthed a burial in cavity dug into the stairway leading up to the building. It contained the skeleton of an adult male accompanied by 28 ceramic vessels and a wooden funerary mask.

Preserved by large limestone slabs that kept the tomb free of debris, the individual had the incisor and canine teeth drilled and filled with jade beads, while two miniature flower-shaped ear spools were also found nearby.

By the skeleton, the archaeologists also unearthed nine red-painted plates and one spouted tripod plate decorated with the image of the god of the underworld emerging from a shell.

According to Estrada-Belli, the unusually high number of vessels and the jade dental decorations indicate the individual was a member of the ruling class at Holmul.

The archaeologist hopes to return to the area in 2014 to continue exploring the building.

Image: The stucco relief found in the ancient Maya city of Holmul. Credit: Francisco Estrada-Belli.

from:    http://news.discovery.com/history/archaeology/giant-mayan-frieze-found-in-guatemala-130809.htm

Guatemala Volcanic Activity at Santa Maria

Ash Fall and Pyroclastic Flows from Guatemala’s Santa Maria

The Santiaguito dome on Santa Maria in Guatemala, showing a diffuse ash plume and a possible pyroclastic flow in the foreground. Image: Webcam capture on November 29, 2012 / INSIVUMEH.

Many of us have been watching the new eruption in Russia, but another place where volcanic activity is being felt is in Guatemala (video). Now, the Central American nation is no stranger to volcanic activity (and earthquakes as well), but currently Santa Maria is showing off some healthy ash explosions that have dusted the countryside around the volcano. Santa Maria’s might be better known to many of you as Santiaguito, the dome complex on the composite volcano. Explosions from this dome complex have been producing 1.5-3.2 km / 5000-10,000 foot ash plumes that has been spreading ash downwind and dry conditions in Guatemala has promoted extended dispersal of the ash to places that might not normally get ash fall. Eddy Sanchez of the National Institute of Seismology, Volcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology (INSIVUMEH) characterized the activity at Santa Maria as normal, but on the high side. This new ash fall has been damaging coffee, bean and sugar cane crops that are grown in the fertile soil around the volcano as well — some of which are subsistence crops for villages in the area.

You can see some of this activity on the INSIVUMEH webcam for the Santiaguito dome complex — even in the image from today, an ash plume as possible small pyroclastic flows are visible (see above).

from:    http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/eruptions/

Champerico, Guatemala Earthquake

Massive earthquake close to Champerico, Guatemala

Last update: November 7, 2012 at 5:23 pm by By

Update 17:34 UTC : The Guatemalan Instituto Nacional de Sismología reports a Magnitude of 7.2 at a depth and mentions a MMI of V at many Guatemalan locations.  The earthquake was well felt at Guatemala, Jalapa, Jutiapa, Alta Verapaz, Quetzaltenango, Suchitepéquez, Zacapa, Escuintla and Quiché.

Update 17:26 UTC : Based on the current USGS data, 236000 people will have experienced a very strong shaking (MMI VII). Nearly 2 million people a strong shaking. We will have to wait a little longer to get a better view on the potential damage. The chance on damage cannot be excluded as the location of the epicenter has been relocated closer to the coast.

Update 17:23 UTC : The max. MMI has been increased by USGS from VI to VII (strong increased to very strong shaking). The main risk however is a tsunami risk at the closest shores to the epicenter.

USGS is currently reporting a Magnitude of 7.5 at  a depth of 33 km.
Luckily the epicenter is about 20 miles out of the coast which will weaken the shaking a lot.
So far a MMI VI has been reported (strong shaking).
There will certainly have been called a Tsunami alarm as the epicenter was close to the coast.
NOAA stipulates that there is NO tsunami warning for ALASKA/ BRITISH  COLUMBIA/ WASHINGTON/ OREGON AND CALIFORNIA…, which must be a relief for those areas.
NOAA Tsunami bulletin
We will soon start an in-depth article on this massive earthquake.
Update 17:09 UTC : The max. shaking values we have received so far are MMI VI, which is very hopeful (minor damage and injuries expected at these values).  The first reports we did receive did locate the epicenter closer to the coast, which is not confirmed by other agencies.

Shaking map courtesy USGS

Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude : 7.4
UTC Time :  2012-11-07 16:35:50 UTC
Local time at epicenter : 2012-11-07 10:35:50 UTC-06:00 at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) : 41.6 km
Geo-location(s) :
24km (15mi) S of Champerico, Guatemala
55km (34mi) SSW of Retalhuleu, Guatemala
60km (37mi) SSW of San Sebastian, Guatemala

from:    http://earthquake-report.com/2012/11/07/massive-earthquake-out-of-the-champerico-guatemala-coast/

Tomb of Mayan Queen K’abel Found

Mayan Tomb May Belong to Warrior Queen

Megan Gannon, News Editor
Date: 03 October 2012
The carved alabaster vessel (shown from two sides) found in the burial chamber caused the archaeologists to conclude the tomb was that of Lady K’abel.
CREDIT: El Peru Waka Regional Archaeological Project

Archaeologists say they’ve discovered what could be the tomb of one of the greatest Mayan rulers, the seventh-century warrior queen Lady K’abel.

The tomb was revealed during digging at the ancient Maya city of El Perú-Waka’ in the rain forest of northern Guatemala. Alongside the body, excavators found a white jar shaped like a conch shell with the head and arm of a woman carved at the opening. The artifact had four hieroglyphs that suggest it belonged to K’abel.

“Nothing is ever proven in archaeology because we’re working with circumstantial evidence. But in our case we have a carved stone alabaster jar that is named K’abel’s possession,” David Freidel, an archaeologist working on the site, explained in a video. Freidel, of Washington University in St. Louis, said the find is “as close to a smoking gun” as you get in archaeology.

The plazas, palaces, temple pyramids and residences of El Perú-Waka’ belong to the Classic Maya civilization (A.D. 200-900). K’abel was part of a royal family and carried the title “Kaloomte’,” which translates to “Supreme Warrior,” meaning she had even higher in authority than her king husband, K’inich Bahlam, according to Freidel and his excavation team. K’abel is believed to have reigned with him from about A.D. 672-692. [Top 12 Warrior Moms in History]

Ceramic vessels found in the burial chamber and carvings on a stela (stone slab) outside of it also indicate the tomb belongs to K’abel, as does a large red spiny oyster shell found on the lower torso of the remains, the researchers said.

“Late Classic queens at Waka’, including K’abel, regularly wore such a shell as a girdle ornament in their stela portraits while kings did not,” the researchers wrote in a report on the finds.

An examination of the remains indicated the buried person was a “mature individual,” the researchers wrote. But the bones were too deteriorated for scientists to determine whether they belonged to a male or female.

Excavations have been underway at El Perú-Waka’ since 2003. The K’abel find has not yet appeared in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

from:    http://www.livescience.com/23680-tomb-mayan-queen.html

Mayan Text Mentioning 12/20/2012 Date Found

Ancient Text Confirms Mayan Calendar End Date

Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience Senior Writer
Date: 28 June 2012
A carved block from La Corona

Carved blocks uncovered at La Corona show scenes of Mayan life and record a political history of the city.
CREDIT: David Stuart

A newly discovered Mayan text reveals the “end date” for the Mayan calendar, becoming only the second known document to do so. But unlike some modern people, ancient Maya did not expect the world to end on that date, researchers said.

“This text talks about ancient political history rather than prophecy,” Marcello Canuto, the director of Tulane University Middle America Research Institute, said in a statement. “This new evidence suggests that the 13 bak’tun date was an important calendrical event that would have been celebrated by the ancient Maya; however, they make no apocalyptic prophecies whatsoever regarding the date.”

The Mayan Long Count calendar is divided into bak’tuns, or 144,000-day cycles that begin at the Maya creation date. The winter solstice of 2012 (Dec. 21) is the last day of the 13th bak’tun, marking what the Maya people would have seen as a full cycle of creation.

Now, researchers exploring the Mayan ruins of La Corona in Guatemala have unearthed a second reference. On a stairway block carved with hieroglyphs, archaeologists found a commemoration of a visit by Yuknoom Yich’aak K’ahk’ of Calakmul, the most powerful Mayan ruler in his day. The king, also known as Jaguar Paw, suffered a terrible defeat in battle by the Kingdom of Tikal in 695.

Historians have long assumed that Jaguar Paw died or was captured in this battle. But the carvings proved them wrong. In fact, the king visited La Corona in A.D. 696, probably trying to shore up loyalty among his subjects in the wake of his defeat four years earlier. [See images of the carvings]

As part of this publicity tour, the king was calling himself the “13 k’atun lord,” the carvings reveal. K’atuns are another unit of the Maya calendar, corresponding to 7,200 days or nearly 20 years. Jaguar Paw had presided over the ending of the 13th of these k’atuns in A.D. 692.

That’s where the 2012 calendar end date comes in. In an effort to tie himself and his reign to the future, the king linked his reign with another 13th cycle — the 13th bak’tun of Dec. 21, 2012.

Hieroglyphs on Mayan carved block.
A detailed look at the carvings on Block 5, found at La Corona in Guatemala. The carvings tell a political history of the city and its allies and enemies.
CREDIT: David Stuart

“What this text shows us is that in times of crisis, the ancient Maya used their calendar to promote continuity and stability rather than predict apocalypse,” Canuto said.

La Corona was the site of much looting and has only been explored by modern archaeologists for about 15 years. Canuto and his dig co-director Tomas Barrientos Q. of the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala announced the discovery of the new calendar text Thursday (June 28) at the National Palace in Guatemala.

The researchers first uncovered the carved stone steps in 2010 near a building heavily damaged by looters. The robbers had missed this set of 12 steps, however, providing a rare example of stones still in their original places. The researchers found another 10 stones from the staircase that had been moved but then discarded by looters. In total, these 22 stones boast 264 hieroglyphs tracing the political history of La Corona, making them the longest known ancient Maya text in Guatemala.

from:    http://www.livescience.com/21255-ancient-text-confirms-mayan-calendar-end.html

Fuego Volcano in Guatemala – Large Eruption

Fuego in Guatemala has Largest Eruption in Years

Earthquake off Coast of Guatemala

Moderate deep earthquake close to the Guatemala coast

Last update: November 17, 2011 at 2:09 pm by By 

Earthquake overview :  A moderate deep earthquake occurred at 7:30 local Guatemala time. The depth of the hypocenter will make this earthquake being felt in a wide.

To read the full story as it happened, we advise our readers to start at the lower part of the page (earthquake data).

Keep this page open or return regularly as we will be back with more details when they become available

Update 13:59 UTC  : NO damage or injuries are expected due to this earthquake

Update 13:59 UTC  : The current earthquake is the third earthquake in the same area in less than 1 hour. The other 2 were respectively 4.6 and 5.0

Update 13:59 UTC  : Based on the I Have Felt It reports from USGS, we can report that the earthquake was experienced as a MMI II-III shaking

Update 13:49 UTC  : false alarm as the earthquake was very deep (96 km) which weakens the shaking very much

Update : focal depth is unknown at the moment (varies strongly depending on the source)

Update : Epicenter approx. 30 km inland of the Guatemala coast

Update : Seismogical agencies are currently calculating the earthquake data. Preliminary readings are mentioning 5.0 to 5.5 magnitude range.

for more and updates, go to:    http://earthquake-report.com/2011/11/17/strong-earthquake-close-to-the-guatemala-coast/

Strong Earthquake in Guatemala

Strong dangerous earthquake in Guatemala – 3 people killed, many injured + a lot of damage

Last update: September 20, 2011 at 1:38 pm by By 

Article also written by Szombath Balazs
Earthquake overview :  
Strong 5.8 earthquake hit Guatemala  September 19, 2011 at 12:34:00 PM local time. In only a half hour before a 4.8 earthquake struck the same region.



At least 3 people have died (1 by a collapsing wall, and 2 by a landslide) when a shallow 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck Guatemala.

There are many injured and traumatised people as a result of this event.

At least 400 homes have been damaged in the Cuilapa area, and these homes have been evacuated.

UPDATE 23:50 UTC: Local sources are mentioning 1 killed person, 3 missing people and a lot of injured. Rescue services are continuing their struggle to find survivors. A total of 5 aftershocks have been reported. None of the aftershocks had a magnitude above 5. Most of the damage has been inflicted in the Cuilapa Santa Rosa area.

to read more and for updates, go to:    http://earthquake-report.com/2011/09/19/strong-dangerous-earthquake-in-guatemala/