Experts downplay volcanic threat, warn of more quakes

Momotombo Volcano is behaving itself for the moment
Flickr/ Sean94110

Momotombo Volcano is behaving itself for the moment

Nicaraguan authorities say “there’s no scientific evidence” of a pending eruption of Momotombo and Apoyeque volcanos despite recent earthquake activity along nearby fault lines.

In a report released this afternoon by Nicaragua’s Disaster Response Agency (SINAPRED), a team of national and foreign experts say the current seismic activity “could lead to future scenarios of volcanic activity” north of Managua, but there’s no evidence of an immediate eruption.

Scientists say there’s no variation to the water quality in the volcanic craters and nearby wells, no emission of sulfur dioxide, and no change to the structure of volcanos — all good signs.

However, the report says, the dramatic increase in seismic activity over the past week is similar to the “hundreds of earthquakes” that proceeded the 1999 eruption of Cerro Negro Volcano in León.

The SINAPRED report says the seismic activity between Momotombo and Apoyeque appears to be diminishing, but authorities are not ruling out the possibility of additional aftershocks with magnitudes between 5 and 6 on the Richter Scale.

Scientists said the current earthquake activity has centered along a 20-KM fault line north of Managua, between Nagarote and Mateare, which suffered the brunt of the damage from the 6.2-magnitude quake on April 10. The active fault lines are separate from the fault lines crisscrossing beneath Managua, but continued seismic activity in Lake Managua “could activate some of the faults (in Managua) and produce damage in the city,” the report warns.

Scientists also notes the recent “deformation” to the coastline of Lake Managua, which caused the water to recede in the lake. They say they’re investigating the matter, but think it’s “secondary to the high amount of seismic activity in the region.” The report says the overall water temperatures in the lake are considered normal, and said earlier claims of rising temperatures could be due to natural hot springs found in different parts of the lake.

The report recommends that Nicaragua remain on high alert and is calling on the Nicaraguan Institute of Territorial Studies (INETER) to “significantly increase their investigations to generate better knowledge of our seismic risks.”


  • Pepe Turcon

    Sounds as if we are now allowed to party big time and celebrate…?

  • Davecardin

    Please tell people we can’t have Tsunami’s coming onto shore from the Pacific if the earthquake is inland. We had the least turnout in our 9 year history at Playa Roca Beach Hotel in Las Penitas-Leon this week during Semana Santa and many people have reported it is because of the earthquakes reported in Managua that they fear coming the the beach because of a tsunami hitting us. The rippling effect doesn’t go out from epicenter inland then turn around and head back inland from the ocean. Had the best surf though, everyone surfing caught as many waves as they wanted. Many vendors look forward to Semana Santa as their best week of the year, and some locals were disappointed greatly this year.

  • guest

    Do you think the red alert is still necessary?