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Ecuador: the Cotopaxi volcano rumbles, fumaroles and ash falls


The Cotopaxi reactivated in 2015, after 138 years of sleep. The main danger lies in the presence of lava near the crater, which could cause flows.

One of the most monitored and dangerous volcanoes in the world, Cotopaxi in central Ecuador has generated fumaroles up to two kilometers above its crater and ash falls in several surrounding localities, has reported the Institute of Geophysics (IG) of Quito.


During the last 24 hours, several emissions of gas and ash have been observed at heights between 1,000 and 2,000 meters above the level of the crater

", indicated Thursday evening January 20 the agency in its daily report. .

Presence of lava near the crater

Due to this eruptive activity, which has been going on since October, authorities have received reports of ash rain in several villages below the volcano, which rises to nearly 5,900 meters.

The Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) in Washington has warned of plumes of volcanic dust up to 1700 meters above the crater.

The Cotopaxi is located about forty kilometers south of the Ecuadorian capital Quito, from where you can see the eternal snows at the top of the imposing mountain.

The main danger of this volcano is the presence of lava near the crater, which could cause pyroclastic flows, a mixture of incandescent materials, made of ash and rocks... But also lead to the melting of the ice covering the sides of the volcano and the formation of avalanches or gigantic flows, endangering the localities directly below where some 300,000 people live.

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The area is also surrounded by strategic facilities and infrastructure, such as oil pipelines, as well as agricultural and livestock farms.

Because of its danger, its geographical location and its ice cap, it is perhaps the most dangerous volcano in the country, and one of the most dangerous in the world

,” Daniel recently told AFP. Sierra, an IG expert.

The Cotopaxi reactivated in 2015, after 138 years of sleep.

The Reventador and Sangay volcanoes, both located on the eastern flank of the Andes mountain range that borders the Amazon, are also currently erupting.

Located on the Ring of Fire of the Pacific, Equator, with an area equivalent to half of France, has a hundred volcanoes, ten of which culminate at more than 5000m in altitude.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-01-20

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