|"By Cape Verdean standards, though severely impoverished the villagers are well-equipped for survival. For a country which suffers from chronic drought, sometimes recording no rainfall for successive years, the more humid heights of Mount Fogo provide the villagers with two harvests annually. It seems likely that villagers will recommence cultivation there once the eruption stops."
International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies
Richard Hunlidi, Bekele Geleta
|Smithsonian Institution, Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network v. 20, no. 3, March 1995
Fogo. SW Cape Verde Islands, Atlantic Ocean 14.95N, 24.35W; summit elev. 2,829 m. All times are local (= UTC - 3 hours).
A fissure eruption that began the night of 2-3 April produced lava flows from the base of the Pico cone, located within the 8-km-diameter Cha Caldera figure 1. This cone, also called Fogo Peak, has a crater ~500 m in diameter and 180 m deep. Caldera residents felt weak intermittent earthquakes as early as 25 March. After 0100 on 2 April the earthquakes increased in frequency, and felt events occurred at 0700 and 1500. At about 2015 residents felt a stronger earthquake that caused dishes to fall from cupboard shelves and may have opened a 200-m-long crack on the flanks of the cone.
|Residents in Sao Filipe, ~15 km WSW of the vent, noticed a red glow around 2300 on the night of 2 April, probably the beginning of the eruption. Other residents reported that eruptive vents on the flank of Pico opened at 0006 on 3 April. Initially there was a burst or jetting of gas followed by ejection of large blocks. This Strombolian activity was followed by a "curtain of fire" that fed a lava flow, which cut off the main road to Portela village by 0200
(figure 2). By 0500 on 3 April, fine dark ash had begun to fall in areas close to the volcano. Around the same time, an eruption cloud to a height of 2,500 m was formed. Witnesses told reporters that the volcano was "spewing out smoke and flames.
|Fogo Island (476 km2), with a population of ~33,000, consists of a single massive volcano with an 8-km-wide caldera breached to the E; the W rim rises 700 m above the caldera floor. The central cone in the caldera, the highest point in the Cape Verde Islands, was apparently almost continuously active from the time of Portuguese settlement in 1500 A.D. until around 1760. Later historical lava flows reached the E coast. The last eruption was during June-August
1951 from caldera vents S and NW of the central cone. Thateruption, also preceded by earthquakes, began with ejection of pyroclastic material that formed Mt. Rendall and Mt. Orlando(figure 2).
|Figure 1. Topographic map of Fogo Island showing historical lava flows (shaded), current lava flows through 11 April (solid), and selected towns (hatched).
Modified from Neumann van Padang and others, 1967...
|Figure 2. Map of Fogo caldera showing lava flows from the current eruption.
Courtesy of Joao Gaspar, Universidade dos Acores.