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Peter and Terry's Adventures
14th Jan 2015 - 8th Feb 2015
Volcan Fuego Erupts

Antigua sits in a valley surrounded by hills and three volcanos.  Two are inactive, but Fuego (The Fire Volcano) had another major eruption on Saturday afternoon.  There were explosions, pyroclastic flows and lots of dust. Here in Antigua we are 20 miles away, so there was no immediate danger.  Some folks living on the slopes of Fuego were evacuated, or left voluntarily.  Smoke and ash vented 1 - 1.3 km into the air, and because of the winds, dropped fine ash all over the surrounding lands.  Antigua got quite a dusting, and was the subject of various news reports (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-31231744).  The airport in Guatemala City was closed because the planes really don't like flying through the volcanic ash, and there was plenty of it.

We experienced a similar ash fall while we were in Guadeloupe on Rovinkind several years ago, when Montserrat sent clouds of dust and ash some 30,000 feet into the air.  The upper winds were driving the ash cloud to the east so the islands of Antigua, Guadeloupe and Dominica got coated.  It took weeks to get rid of the little pockets of dust on the boat.

The thing about the volcanic dust is that it settles just like snow, and drifts just like snow, but it never melts!  Sweeping it up just spreads it around, and wetting it down just makes streaks and the stuff dries like concrete.  It is also abrasive, so it's like walking on very fine sandpaper.

So we are sweeping and mopping, and everything has a sheen of dust, even inside. To be fair, dust is an ongoing problem during the dry season, but this is much worse.  Every little gust of wind spreads the ash from the roads and roofs.  My guess is that this stuff will be around until the rainy season starts in May/June. 

This week we are planning to join a group going to the Pacific coast for a couple of days.  More in the next report.



Next: To the Lake (Not the Pacific)
Previous: And now it's 2015


Diary Photos

Ash on the patio table

Ash on the leaves

Ash on a car

Ash on a Calla Lilly

Patio Table

Antigua Rooftops

Fuego


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