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LATEST UPDATE (Dec.2/2010)
Volcanic activity has been reported in the Tungurahua (Throat of Fire) volcano in Ecuador, the second case sighted in the past few weeks. The volcano spewed molten rocks and large clouds of gas and ash near Banos, south of Quito, Reuters reported on Tuesday. The Tungurahua’s volcanic activity follows last month’s eruption, when a column of gas shot up seven kilometers into the sky. No casualties have been recorded so far, but flight re-direction is being considered.
Tungurahua is located approximately 150 kilometers southeast of Ecuador’s capital, Quito.
RECENT CHRONOLOGY ….
After almost 6 months of relevate calm, Mount Tungurahua seems to be reawaking in the first days of 2010.
DEC.30 2009 – long-period earthquake followed by fumarolic activity with a steam plume reaching 300 metres above the crater.
JAN.01 2010 – beginning of emissions with low ash content, accompanied by rumbles that have gradually increased their intensity.
JAN.03 2010 – crater glow visible, lava fountaining begins, with the projection of incandescent material onto the upper slopes and intense rumbling sounds
JAN.04 2010 – increased ash emissions with eruption columns reaching as high as 2 km above the crater, ash fall reported to the west.
MAY.31 2010 – explosion (see photo series below)
Tungurahua volcano eruption process last night (May 31). Photo credits: Armando Prado/El Comercio
NOV.22 2010 – A sudden eruption of the Tungurahua volcano in the Ecuadorian Andes sent a column of ash more than 7 kilometers (4.3 miles) into the sky.
APR.27 2011 - A significant explosive eruption occurred, prompting evacuations of schools and villages near the volcano. Tungurahua produced a 7 km / ~23,000 foot ash plume, which is a bit surprising considering that last report from Instituto Geofisico in Ecuador from January 2011 reported ”activity at Tungurahua continued to decrease and ash was absent from plumes.” Hugo Yepes, a geologist from the IG, was quoted as saying (Spanish) this eruption was one of the largest at the volcano in the past 11 years and that the IG expects that this eruption might gone on for “several days”. The Ecuadoran government placed the volcano on Orange Alert status, meaning mandatory evacuations for a number of villages near Tungurahua. Some air traffic in and out of Quito has also been effected by the eruption.
(Photo by Cecilia Puebla/AFP/Getty Images)
COTALO, ECUADOR – The Tungurahua volcano spews ashes and lava on January 11, 2010, in Cotalo, Ecuador, 135km south of Quito.
Sangay (phoenetic: sang [ai] or sang-eye) is the most continuously active volcano in the world and the most hardcore mountain in Ecuador to climb because of the demanding nature of the approach and the prevailing appalling weather.
Different interpretations for the name of the mountain exist. Some say it is from the Quichua word samkay, meaning “to frighten, scare, or terrorize”; others, primarily people living in the east, say it is from the word shanga, meaning ‘good-natured.” The reason for this wide disparity is that despite Sangay’s high level of activity, it has not damaged any of the surrounding areas.
The isolated Sangay volcano, located east of the Andean crest, is the southernmost of Ecuador’s volcanoes, and its most active. The dominantly andesitic volcano has been in frequent eruption for the past several centuries. The steep-sided, 5230-m-high glacier-covered volcano grew within horseshoe-shaped calderas of two previous edifices, which were destroyed by collapse to the east, producing large debris avalanches that reached the Amazonian lowlands. The modern edifice dates back to at least 14,000 years ago. Sangay towers above the tropical jungle on the east side; on the other sides flat plains of ash from the volcano have been sculpted by heavy rains into steep-walled canyons up to 600 m deep. The earliest report of a historical eruption was in 1628. More or less continuous eruptions were reported from 1728 until 1916, and again from 1934 to the present. The more or less constant eruptive activity has caused frequent changes to the morphology of the summit crater complex.
Photo by Minard Hall, 1976 (Escuela Politécnica Nacional, Quito).
Volcano Type: Stratovolcano
Volcano Status: Historical
Last Known Eruption: 2009 (continuing)
Summit Elevation: 5230 m 17,159 feet
Latitude: 2.002°S 2°0’9″S
Longitude: 78.341°W 78°20’27″W
Photo: El Comercio
Mount Tungurahua, located near Banos in the province of Tungurahua continues to be active, emitting ash and lava. This photo was taken last night (June 22, 2009) on an unusually clear night. For the past two nights activity has been moderate, with lava flows up to 2 km.000000
Over the last few months or so, there has been increased seismic activity, reports of “booming noises” and increased ash emissions from the volcano. Mount Tungurahua is one of the more active volcanoes in the Andes.
Ecuador (including the Galapagos Islands) has over 40 volcanoes, 30 of which are found throughout mainland Ecuador. Numerous of these volcanoes are active, such as Sangay, Tungurahua & Reventador.
Pan de Azucar
Pichincha (Guagua & Rucu)
This shot was taken during a flyover of the region. This is Cotopaxi Volcano, clearly showing the volcanic crater.
The Cotopaxi National Park is located about 90 minutes due south of Quito. Visitors have two basic tour options: (1) a naturalist day trip; or (2) a 2 or 3 day climbing package. Mountain biking, horseback riding and a visit to a hacienda are alternative options in this Park. There are a number of interesting haciendas (working farms) in the area, such as San Agustin de Callo, Hato Verde and Yanahurco to name a few.
The Limpiopungo lagoon area (at the base of the Park) attracts a variety of birds, especially the Galleteras, ducks, Andean Gull and Sparrow hawks. Apart from the panoramic views encircling the lake, one may be lucky to witness curiquingues, deer, rabbits, llamas, paramo wolves and the Andean condor. The lake lies at 3850m and encompasses 200 hectares.
There is a steep, one-hour climb from the parking area, situated at 4500 m, to the refuge (4800 m). If you intend to climb to the peak, it’s wise to settle into the refuge by mid-afternoon as you will have to leave the comfort of your sleeping bag between midnight and two o’clock in the morning.
Cotopaxi volcano, at 5897m (19,350ft), claimed to be the world’s highest active volcano. A novice climber can summit the peak with the a highly qualified mountain guide & appropriate equipment. The views from the summit (weather permitting) are incredible.
Temperatures on Cotopaxi vary little throughout the year. The average daytime temperature is 45°F (7°C). Seasonal variations and night-time temperatures range the temperatures between freezing and 68°F (20°C). Visitors to the Park are recommended to bring several layers of clothes including a warm sweater and protective rain-wind jacket, hat and gloves.
The rainy seasons run between January and May and October and November. The main dry season of June to September though the strong winds are known to occur. December also has a short dry season and the time around Christmas is normally considered the best weather of the year.
In general the best weather (least chance of rain or cloudy skies) is around the full moon. Climbers are recommended to plan assents around the full moon whenever possible.