Paricutin, Mexico


On February 20th, 1943, a cornfield farmer in Paricutin, about 200 miles from the city of Mexico, named Dinonisio Pulido experienced the birth of the volcano Paricutin.  Pulido and those with him were the first people in the 20th century to experience such a fascinating thing. It happened in his own backyard in his cornfield. As he was in his field he noticed something very strange going on. He started feeling the ground shaking and the trees were trembling and thunder and lightening coming along. Then all of the sudden he saw a crack in the middle of his field. He recalls seeing a kind of smoke, fine dust, gray-like ashes starting to rise from the crack. He remembers the smell of sulphur in the air. The ground had raised itself 2 or 2 1/2 meters high and the lava covered 10 square miles.

Although no one was killed by the volcanic eruption, three people had died after being struck by lightning.

The birth of the volcano had lasted nine years from 1943 to 1952. The 1.3 kilometers of lava soon covered the whole town.  This was the most recent volcano in the Western hemisphere. The volcano became 2,808 meters (9,213 feet) above sea level.  It also became 410 meters above base. The final height of the scoria cone was 424 m. The incandescent bombs blew more than 1,000 feet away. The activity of the volcano has died since 1952 and hasnít erupted since. When the volcano stopped growing the cinder cone added 290 feet. There was 0.7 kilograms of tephra when it finished growing as well. The volcano had covered about 100 square miles of ashes when it had finished erupting.

By February, 1944 the lava flow was speeding up. The people in Paricutin Mexico were very stunned and didnít know what to do. They soon found out what it was like to see a volcano being born.

Nine years later it had stopped and died down. Now today people look over at the volcano Paricutin and know that the people there were here to see it happen and where it is used to be an Tarascan Indian farmer and his family's corn field and the city of Uruapan in Mexico.



Information Sources:

By: Tiffany and Kim


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