Can earthquakes trigger volcanic eruptions?
Volcano eruptions have occurred shortly after earthquakes and they may be linked, but scientists are still debating the topic. Notably, an Andean volcano (Cordon Caulle) began erupting 2 days after the magnitude 9.6 1960 Chile earthquake.
Eruptions of mud volcanoes have occurred in the Andaman Islands following the recent magnitude 9.0 megathrust earthquake. Mud volcanoes consist of surface mud extrusions that vary in size from meters to several kilometers. They sometimes resemble magmatic volcanoes in appearance but they generally consist of low lying mud flows. Mud volcanoes do not involve magma. They emit mud at significantly cooler temperatures than lava, well below the ~800 degrees Celsius temperatures that characterize volcanic eruptions. Eruptions from mud volcanoes can reach heights of several hundred meters and consist of mud and sometimes burning hydrocarbon gasses. They are often associated with gas and oil fields. Mud volcanoes were known to exist in the Andaman Islands before the earthquake and in many other regions of the world.
Deadly mud volcano eruptions are extremely rare because their eruptions generally do not affect large areas. One deadly eruption in Bozdagh, Azerbaijan reportedly killed six shepherds who were camping in the caldera of a mud volcano and about 2,000 of their sheep.