Sunday, August 16, 2015

State of emergency in Ecuador as volcano spews ash

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa has declared a state of emergency over increasing activity in the Cotopaxi volcano near the capital of Quito.

Saturday’s decree gives authorities more flexibility in using government funds to deal with any problems, with officials having so far evacuating several hundred people as a precaution.

Eruptions beginning Friday have shot ash more than five kilometres into the sky, spreading fine grey powder over roads, homes and cars in the region as far as the capital, 50km to the north.

Presidential legal secretary Alexis Mera said further ash explosions and some pyroclastic flows on the volcano's western slopes on Saturday led officials to evacuate some nearby villages.

Cotopaxi is considered one of the world's most dangerous volcanoes due to a glacial cover that makes it prone to fast-moving volcanic rock and mud flows, known as lahares.

The almost 6,000 metre, snow-capped volcano, which last had a major eruption in 1877, is close to heavily populated area around Quito.

Authorities had already restricted access to the park that surrounds Cotopaxi and suspended ascents of the peak, which is popular with mountaineers.



  1. More than 300,000 could be affected if Ecuador’s Cotopaxi volcano blows...

    Nearly 325,000 people could be affected by an eruption of Cotopaxi, the volcano looming beyond the Ecuadoran capital of Quito, officials said Monday.

    The biggest risk is from an eruption melting the 5,900-meter (19,000-foot) mountain’s snowcap and triggering massive melt-water floods and lahar mudflows that could sweep through nearby towns, Ecuador’s minister of risk management Maria del Pilar Cornejo told a press conference.

    Considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world, Cotopaxi sent an ash plume high into the sky on Friday, before spewing several smaller clouds and leaving surrounding towns with a light dusting of volcanic ash. The last eruption was in 1877.

    Several small earthquakes were also recorded.

    In response, the government issued a state of emergency and ordered the evacuation of some 500 people in the immediate vicinity of the volcano...............AFP

  2. Earthquake M 4.5 - NEAR COAST OF ECUADOR - 2015-08-18.....local time: 23:49...

    Magnitude mb 4.5
    Date time 2015-08-18 04:49:07.9 UTC
    Location 1.19 S ; 80.33 W
    Depth 53 km
    118 km NW of Guayaquil, Ecuador / pop: 1,952,029 / local time: 23:49:07.9 2015-08-17
    20 km SE of Portoviejo, Ecuador / pop: 170,326 / local time: 23:49:07.9 2015-08-17
    7 km NE of Santa Ana, Ecuador / pop: 12,833 / local time: 23:49:07.9 2015-08-17


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