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Dormant for more than 40 years, Chile’s Calbuco Volcano has now erupted three times within the last two weeks. Calbuco is known to be one of the top three most dangerous among Chile’s 90 active volcanos.

Over 200 million tons of ash covered several living areas causing over 6,500 people to be evacuated from their homes. In turn, the salmon industry, farmlands, and airlines are all being affected by this eruption. Farmers have made it a point to evacuate their cattle in order to assure their livelihood will not be affected.

For the past several days, the geology agency had mentioned that there was a possibility of a third eruption happening based on the seismic activity in the area. Researchers have now said that, “airborne ash could reach an altitude of 12,000 feet,” which causes locals to take precautions when venturing outside or going about their daily lives.

Local officials have also stated that they are “calling an emergency meeting to look at issues such as predicting the behavior of the column of smoke, in terms of climate factors, and what measures we will need to take.” Locals are looking at better ways to assess the situation and goals are in place to help geologists track and notice trends of upcoming eruptions.

7 Ways to Help Predict and Track Future Eruptions

Below demonstrates factors that are internationally in place to help better monitor eruptions and ways of learning about volcano habits.

  1. Plan and install new geophysical and geochemical monitoring networks on dangerous volcanoes to ensure reliable, real-time information on critical parameters such as earthquake activity, ground deformation, and emission of volcanic gases.
  2. Conduct detailed geological field investigations of volcanoes and use Geographic Information System technology to enhance hazard assessments, zoning, forecasting, and overall understanding of volcanic processes
  3. Conduct experiments and studies to understand volcano processes and related hydrothermal and surface flowage processes
  4. Utilize radar data to characterize the deformation field at hazardous volcanoes and volcanic regions
  5. Reduce volcano risk by training members on development, technology information, volcano monitoring, and performing hazard assessment classes
  6. Build and expand databases on volcanism in the U.S. and abroad, suitable for use in assessing potential volcanic activity and threat. Databases include historical information about volcanic unrest and eruptions, maps, geochemical and geophysical data, hazards analyses, and populations and infrastructure at risk
  7. Deliver effective products and services and provide timely access to volcano information

Critical Maintenance when Tracking Volcanic Discoveries

As stated above, there is an enormous amount of information to be logged when calculating patterns for volcanic activity. This information should be logged within a system that is easy to access and easily readable for future geologists. Below are some key points to consider when setting up your maintenance plan.

  1. Organize assets using a CMMS in order to know the standing condition at all times
  2. Categorizing radar data and other related information in a computerized format
  3. Increase maintenance efficiency through use of mobile phones
  4. Recording the work history of all assets for future training purposes

Ways to Maintain Mother Nature’s Unexpected Visits

Now, it is understood that not everything can be exactly planned or predicted, but we can do our best to expect Mother Nature’s arrival. In cases when we can’t, there are precautions to take in preventative maintenance to secure your home and/or local business from damage.

Consider your home and the components that make it up. Be sure to check the main foundation: roof, windows, side paneling, etc. These components will need to be inspected and cleaned more often due to the volcanic ash entering the system. Volcanic ash has a sand-like material which can cause scratching and irritation to systems, and the amount of ash will also affect its systems functionality. For industrial settings, best results would be achieved with an EAM system to help organize and schedule maintenance management. Prevention is all in the way you set up your maintenance.

Tell us about your emergency plans should a natural disaster strike.