Updated 04:13 PM EST, Sun, Jan 17, 2021

Peru's El Misti Volcano May Be Rewakening

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Peru's El Misti, also known as Putina, is a stratovolcano located in Arequipa, south west of Peru. The snow-capped, symmetrical cone stands at 5,822 meters above sea level and lies between mount Chachani and Pikchu Pikchu volcano.

Recent reports said that the volcano is beginning to show signs of awakening and possible eruptive activity. The volcano hasn't had any major eruptions since the 15th century, as most historic eruptions involved only small events from the summit cone that limited the affected areas to the top of the volcano.

Still, that doesn't mean that people near Misti can shrug off the warnings. Volcano Discovery noted that the last documented eruption was recorded in 1985. The most prominent observation back then was the new fumaroles on the noth side inside of the crater, with highly pressurized gasses escaping from the six new vents.

According to Publimetro, the Southern Volcano Observatory (OVS), as of the moment, Misti is already emitting gasses. OVS engineer Luisa Macedo said, "The gases that Misti emits are magmatic. This confirms that the volcano is active and is not sleeping, as many people think."

She also noted that a group of researchers started taking images of the volcano's crater four weeks ago, and their investigation revealed magmatic activity. Macedo noted that the gasses reached around 500 meters, containing sulfuric acid, carbon, and calcium. However the distance is not enough for nearby communities to be affected at the moment.

Another specialist, Domingo Ramos, explained that the volcanic activity does not necessarily mean that there is danger of eruption.

However, the Peruvian government is not taking chances, considering that there are almost a million residents living within a 30 kilometer radius. The statement regarding possible volcanic activity is meant as a reminder for people of Arequipa that they live near a potentially active volcano. They should plan accordingly to ensure minimal disruption as well as a plan for evacuation should the need arise.

Misti has been under watch for nearly a year. Peru This Week said in July that the volcano, which has long been considered as one of Arequipa's iconic symbols, has become a cause for concern for the locals, with the region declared under a state of emergency as tremor became more and more common.

El Comercio noted that the volcanic visit in June allowed specialists to take temperature measurements to verify emissions. OVS director Orlando Macedo noted that "the Misti is the most dangerous volcano in Peru, and about one million people would be affected if an eruption occurs. These field inspections complement the registered ones made by the seismic stations in making the Misti volcano in the country more secure."

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