Just some updates on the latest events happening now with Cotopaxi volcano, here in Ecuador. Early on Friday, the iconic volcano spewed a three-mile-high column of ash (two explosions), urging authorities to raise the warning level to yellow, signifying that residents should keep alert. The level warnings are yellow, orange and red. Reports of ash rain and the smell of sulfur are present in the southern area of Quito, especially in Machachi, Ecuador following Cotopaxi volcano explosion.
However precautions should be taken, authorities stressed that the explosions and a five-kilometer- (3-mile-) high plume of ash do not signify that the volcano is about to erupt.
Actually, Ecuador’s highest active volcano has been showing signs of activity since April 2015, and it has been kept under close monitoring for a long time now.
Nonetheless, president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa has declared state of emergency and the yellow alert I now accompanied with a preventive evacuation of areas nearby the volcano which include Lasso, Mulaló and some regions of Latacunga (Cotopaxi Provice).
As happens with this kind of events, much speculation has been going on, overstated comments have been circulating the country. As stressed by Ph.D Professor Theofilus Toulkeridis, an expert in Volcanology, Geochemistry, Geography, there is no need for unnecessary alarm. Here’s an extract from his Facebook wall:
“Remember , the Cotopaxi volcano is active !!! Meaning, lava is going to appear at some point, as well as some pyroclastic flows etc etc etc. This does not necessarily means that lava lahars will reach populations nearby. I’ve explained so many time before that we might have to live with this kind of activity for months to come. Obviously, when misinterpreted information is spread ( i.e. phreatic explosions etc.) preprogrammed chaos will arise”.
Still, here’s some useful info regarding the recent event with Cotopaxi for all tourists now visiting Ecuador or planning to do so.
✓ All airports in Ecuador are functioning normally, no flights have been delayed nor cancelled so far
✓ Mayor of Quito, Mauricio Rodas, guaranteed water supply in the capital
✓ The Ministry of Environment decided to restrict access to the Cotopaxi National Park and suspend until further notice the ascent to the summit.
✓ All necessary precautions to evacuate tourisrs in the areas mentioned above are take now care of by the Ministry od Defense and National Security
✓ Ash raining may occur in the cpaital city Quito as well as other regions in the andean sierra of Ecuador, please make sure you take come precautions to protect your health.
Here’s the offcial communication means for the President stating that the “evacuatiosn for now are preventiv,as no further pyroclastic flows that may melt snow have occured for now”
— Ecorae Ecuador (@AmazoniaEc) August 15, 2015
The official twitter account of the National Secretariat of Risks is constantly publishing advice on how to face the ash rainings. This ones reads: “Please protect your eyes.”
A video of yesterday’s explosions: