Over the past days, activity at the volcano seems to have picked up. The frequency and size of explosions from the summit have increased and generated several ash plumes that rose up to approx 3 km height above the summit.
Whether this apparent increase in activity caused by and actual increase in magma and or gas output, or simply a process of releasing accumulated pressure and instabilities on the already emplaced lava lobes on the steep flanks of the volcano is unclear.
For the local population, this means the long-lasting (more than 2 years now) crisis has no end in sight: the exclusion zone of 4-5 km radius around the volcano (depending on which sector) remains in place. More than 9500 people evacuated from villages in this risk area continue to live in a total of 9 now semi-permanent shelters.