Volcanic hazards; Computer simulation of granular flows; Explosive volcanism; Cross disciplinary synergism
In October, 2005, tropical storm Stan brought heavy precipitation throughout much of Guatemala. In more mountainous regions, this precipitation induced landslides, debris flows, and mudflows. In the community of Panabaj, Santiago Atitlán, a landslide of loose material originating high on the slopes of Tolimán volcano buried much of the community, leaving approximately 400 people dead. These flows were so forceful that even a thickness of only a few tens of centimeters was enough to completely destroy houses. We have mapped the disaster, made computer simulations of these flows, and advised the civil protection authorities regarding construction of re-location housing for refugees.