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1m people in disaster drill as volcanic activity continues

News from Nicaragua | Tuesday, 5 April 2016 |

Momotombo volcano starts erupting after being dormant for 110 years

Momotombo volcano starts erupting after being dormant for 110 years

December 2015 saw the awakening of Momotombo volcano, dormant for 110 years.  Since then, scientists have counted 404 explosions of varying strength - 32 over the Easter weekend alone-  and an increased amount of seismic activity throughout Nicaragua.

On 18 March, it was reported that one of the mouths of the Masaya volcano had grown larger due to collapses of internal walls inside the volcano and erosion.

Whilst experts say “that these new explosions are within the normal parameters of the activity of the [Momotombo] volcano”, the government organised a national disaster drill  on 17 March, involving 700,000 students together with communities, the army,  businesses, churches, hospitals, and free trade zones workers.

Government spokeswoman Rosario Murillo explained that the exercise was held to train citizens to confront  not only volcanic activity but the many natural threats that the country faces.

Meanwhile, a team of scientists  from  National Geographic arrived in Nicaragua on 26 March  to explore the Masaya volcano  lava lake  and prepare for the arrival   for a documentary film team.   

INETER  (Nicaragua Institute for Territorial Studies) adviser Wilfried Strauch said “We hope that work on the documentary can help us to understand what is happening in the volcano.”