October 27, 2011 – The Mount Hudson Volcano (in Chile) is at Condition Red: The Volcano Observatory of the Southern Andes (OVDAS), a Department of the National Service of Geology and Mining, reports on all volcanoes in Chile. OVDAS is changing the volcanic alert status of Mount Hudson to Condition Level 5 – RED. Level 5 means an impending major eruption in hours and/or days. The Hudson volcano eruptions are characterized by eruptive columns several kilometers in height. The dispersion of eruptive material into the atmosphere could affect localities to the north, east and south of the volcano. Population centers are situated downwind near Mount Hudson and, therefore, highly likely to receive a deadly pyroclastic flow. A pyroclastic flow is a fast moving current of superheated gas and rock, which can reach temperatures of 1,000 degrees Centigrade or 1,830 degrees Fahrenheit. They can reach speeds, moving down the slopes of a volcano, of 700 kilometer per hour (450 mph).
A tremendous amount of ice is located in the upper portion of the volcano, and will generate significant lahars if it erupts. A lahar is a type of mudflow or rubble flow composed of rocky debris and water, with the consistency of wet cement. The material flows down from a volcano, typically along a river valley, and destroys anything in its path. The river valleys located to the north-west of the volcano are at extreme risk. The remobilization of unconsolidated material could generate secondary lahars in the River valley to the south-east. Pyroclastic flows could affect the immediate vicinity of the volcano, within a radius of between 15 to 20 kilometers (9 to 12 miles).
After the seismic swarm occurred the morning of Wednesday October 26th, the OVDAS staff and local authorities are performing periodic flybys of the Hudson Volcano, which could see a column of eruptive material (with ash, gas, smoke and debris), three kilometers in height (about 10,000 feet). OVDAS continues to monitor Mount Hudson, in an effort to warn local population centers before a major eruption occurs.
The Master of Disaster