An unusual volcano wakes up.  It is dangerous, even though it does not release lava

You don't hear much about mud volcanoes, but there are thousands of them in the world. According to the author of the “Volcanoes of the World” blog, more than 2,500 of them have been named, and most of these volcanoes are located in Azerbaijan. The highest of them is Buyuk Khanizadag – its diameter is 10 kilometers and its height is about 700 meters.

These volcanoes are cone-shaped hills or flat domes, from within which a mixture of water, mud, sand, etc. emerges to the surface. Although the term “mud volcano” does not sound ominous, eruptions of hot mass resulting from such formations can lead to major devastation.

Now one of these volcanoes is waking up. Geologist and research director Xavier Monan, who is conducting extensive research on the mud volcano in the village of Piparo in the Caribbean, warns of its increasing activity. During the recent eruption, the volcano named after the village forced local residents to evacuate and the area was destroyed. Moonan notes this Piparo's activity has been increasing again for a few days.

– We are witnessing the awakening of the volcano, as pressure has been building here since the last activity in 2019. Some of the cracks visible now were not there last night. Some of them expand along the cone and beyond it. This indicates that the processes occur very quickly – explained the expert.

As the author of the “Volcanoes of the World” blog explains, mud volcanoes mainly spew mud, water and sand and emit various gases, primarily methane. The temperature of the ejected material can reach 100°C. Below you can see how Piparo currently behaves and sounds.

The situation is so dangerous… Piparo mud volcano is already known for its destructive power. On February 23, 1997, a powerful explosion of this formation occurred, which was considered a disaster because a large part of the city was covered with volcanic mud and was destroyed by ejected materials with great force.

During the mud volcano eruption, there was serious destruction of nature and infrastructure, among other things, a total of 108 people remained homeless. In 2019, the volcano began showing signs of activity again, sparking widespread concern among residents and officials. A contingency plan was then developed to respond to crises.

Moonan, who monitors the situation in Trinidad and Tobago, warns that this time it is also necessary for the authorities to take specific steps because the situation with the mud volcano has become tense.

According to the geologist, the services must intervene and cordon off the area so as not to risk the presence of onlookers. This is not only about the risk of volcanic eruption, but also about possible man-made ignition.

– There is a noticeable amount of gases emitted that exceed normal levels. I recommend staying away from the volcano. The expert said that the gurgling could be heard from a distance. The area must be cordoned off until volcanic activity stops. The natural gas is discharged with some hydrogen sulfide. It is flammableMoonan said spectators mesmerized by the sounds could be risking not only their health and lives from a potential eruption, but also from accidentally causing a fire.

The head of the Disaster Response Office, Rodney Smart, has already supported the expert's opinion and informed that the office is working with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to conduct the expert opinion and identify further actions. Residents are prepared for a possible escape. Drills have already been carried out and an evacuation plan has been drawn up.

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