The Pico do Fogo volcano
Fabio ( Cape_Verde )
Seeing and climbing the Pico do Fogo volcano – Fabio’s GoosebumpMoment
Fabio: “Hello. My name is Fabio Barros, I am from Cape Verde Fogo island. I always feel Goosebumps when I see volcanos, active or not. Like the one from my island, which is the volcano Pico do Fogo. Volcanos are some of the most destructive forces of nature. They can provide life, but also, they can take life away. Unfortunately, in 2014, this volcano Pico de Fogo destroyed an entire village. Thanks to God, there was no human loss. But we can not deny it: Volcanos are beautiful, they are amazing. In 2008 I had the opportunity to climb Pico do Fogo. At the beginning it might seem impossible, but when you reach the top, the view is so beautiful. If there are no clouds, you can even see some islands around. I would like to invite you to my country, especially to my island and to go visit this amazing volcano. This is my GoosebumpMoment and I hope that you like it.”
The mountain of fire
Contemplating the Pico do Fogo in Cape Verde is something that undoubtedly gives us Goosebumps. At almost 3,000 meters high, it is the highest summit and an active volcano that has had almost 30 eruptions since the 15th century. The last one occurred in 2014.
However, on the slopes of Pico do Fogo, Cape Verdeans grow coffee and make wine. A curious phenomenon in the middle of volcanic landscapes that is an attractive hiking destination for tourists.
The last eruption of the Pico do Fogo volcano
The most recent eruption occurred on November 23, 2014, after a new fissure opened and sources of lava and volcanic ash emerged that moved with relatively high speed through the caldera and interrupted the road to Cha das Boilers.
The lava affected the communication antennas in the area and cut the road that connects the town of Chã das Caldeiras to the south. It also invaded the area of existing vineyards in the caldera. The town was evicted due to the proximity of the lava. However, a few days later it was buried under lava and washed away from the earth.
The number of displaced people and the information from devastated villages such as Portela and Bangaeira, located in Chã das Caldeiras, the caldera that surrounds the volcano, alerted half the world that year.
The only active volcano in Cape Verde
Pico do Fogo is the only active volcano on the Cape Verde Islands. At the same time it is the highest mountain in the archipelago with its 2829 m. The island was originally called São Filipe, but after the great eruption of 1680 it was renamed Fogo.
The most curious thing is that the slopes of the mountain are used to grow coffee, while lava is used as a construction material. Near its peak there is a caldera and a small village called Chã das Caldeiras.
The origin of the volcano
The origin of Pico do Fogo began 4.5 million years ago and developed in four stages. After a first seamount, two more volcanoes were created before the young stratovolcano Pico do Fogo formed, which subsequently emerged from the Chã das Caldeiras depression.
The caldera has a diameter of 9 km and its walls are up to 1 km high.
Pico do Fogo is one of the most active volcanoes in the Atlantic Ocean. Since the island’s settlement in the 15th century, it has erupted more than 30 times. The 1680 eruption was the strongest eruption of the volcano in historical times. It was followed by eruptions in 1785, 1799, 1847, 1852, 1857, and 1951. The 1995 eruption was comparatively weak and only occurred within the caldera.
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