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Report on Sabancaya (Peru) — January 1992


Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 17, no. 1 (January 1992)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Sabancaya (Peru) Increased activity prompts official alert; ashfalls force evacuation of nearby towns

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1992. Report on Sabancaya (Peru) (McClelland, L., ed.). Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 17:1. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN199201-354006



15.787°S, 71.857°W; summit elev. 5960 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

The press reported that the Instituto Geofísico del Perú and Civil Defense officials declared an "alert" on 19 February, following increased activity at the volcano. Gas and ash from the 4.5-km-high plume had reportedly caused respiratory problems and covered homes and crops during the previous several months, prompting people to evacuate several towns within a 14-km radius of the volcano. The press also reported that several small streams of "lava" had moved downslope during the previous few days. Seismicity at the volcano had increased to as many as 50 earthquakes recorded daily. Vulcanian activity has continued at varying intensity (ash clouds 2-7 km high) since the start of the eruption in late May 1990.

Geological Summary. Sabancaya, located in the saddle NE of Ampato and SE of Hualca Hualca volcanoes, is the youngest of these volcanic centers and the only one to have erupted in historical time. The oldest of the three, Nevado Hualca Hualca, is of probable late-Pliocene to early Pleistocene age. The name Sabancaya (meaning "tongue of fire" in the Quechua language) first appeared in records in 1595 CE, suggesting activity prior to that date. Holocene activity has consisted of Plinian eruptions followed by emission of voluminous andesitic and dacitic lava flows, which form an extensive apron around the volcano on all sides but the south. Records of observed eruptions date back to 1750 CE.

Information Contacts: A. Giesecke, CERESIS, Lima; N. Banks, CVO; AP.