Nicaragua’s Momotombo Volcano Has Erupted For the First Time in 100 Years

APTOPIX Nicaragua Volcano
The Momotombo volcano spews a large plume of gas and ash as seen from the rural community of Papalonal, in Leon, Nicaragua, on December 2, 2015. ESTEBAN FELIX/AP

LAST NIGHT NICARAGUA’S Momotombo started its first eruption since 1905. The vigorous Strombolian eruption (see above and below) produced an impressive lava fountain along with a dark ash plume over the area near Lake Managua. Local reports suggest that people startedfeeling tremors and noticing steam plumes from Momotombo over the past few weeks. Then, late on Monday night, a new eruption began, sending incandescent volcanic debris cascading down the slopes of the volcano (see video below). By morning, the activity had waned, though a strong steam plume can still be spotted coming from the volcano on the INETER webcam pointed at Momotombo. At least six communities around Momotombo reported ash fall and as a precaution, schools in the region have been closed.

Momotombo has rumbled occasionally since its last confirmed eruption in 1905. As recently as 2003-2011, the volcano experienced a series of small seismic swarms that suggested magma moving in the system beneath the volcano. In 2007, the hydrothermal system in the summit crater began to heat as well, so this eruption may be the culmination of over a decade’s worth of priming in the magmatic system.

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