PERU – The volcano could be in the process of entering a new eruptive phase. Two small (likely phreatic) explosions occurred last Friday at 13:46 and 14:45 h local time (18:46 and 19:45 GMT), ejecting plumes of ash and steam rising approx. 1.5-2 km. A strong sulfur smell was noticed in up to 5 km distance. Ubinas, Peru’s most active volcano, had been showing increased signs of unrest since the beginning of the month. Episodes of tremor occurred frequently during 1-9 Feb, accompanied by intense fumarolic activity. Tremor decreased after 9 Feb, but a swarm of long-period earthquakes occurred with up to 80 quakes detected per day. n important increase in SO2 emission (500 tons/day on 7 Feb) was measured, which suggests the presence of new magma. In addition, INGEMMET detected 25-30 mm inflation of the southern flank, but notes that it is likely a sign of its structural instability, enhanced by the current seismic activity (as opposed to being a sign of magma pushing from inside). Authorities have distributed dust masks to people in the areas of Cancosani, Titi and Cangalle. Extinction Protocol
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