- Tungurahua is an active stratovolcano
also known as the "The Black Giant." It has a 600 ft. (183
m) wide crater. Most of the volcano is covered by snow. Its causes many
tremors in the nearby city of Banos. Tungurahua's lava is mostly composed
of basalts. Tungurahua has had at least seventeen eruptions in historical
times, its most recent occurring in 1944 when it erupted explosively
from its central crater. Located about 25 miles (~40 km) west of Tungurahua
is the largest volcano in Equador, Chimborazo and to the north about
50 miles(~80 km ) is Cotopaxi volcano.
November 10, 1999
- Explosions of ash and incandescent materials
occur 25-35 times per day and a column of ash and gases is present at
all times. The outflow of sulphur dioxide registered during the past
few days has reached levels between eight and ten thousand metric tons
per day. Explosions continue to grow in magnitude and are accompanied
by loud bangs that can be heard as far as 20 km away. Mud flows have
destroyed several segments of the road between Banos and Pinipe. Volcanic
ash has affected ~50,000 hectares of farm land.
November 8, 1999
- On 4 November, an ash cloud erupted from
the Tungurahua Volcano. The ash cloud rose approximately 30,000 feet
(9 km) above sea level.
November 4, 1999
- On 1 November, the Tungurahua Volcano
erupted at 1245 UTC, and the ash plume rose 35,000 ft. (10.7 km) into
October 26, 1999
- On 23 October, the Tungurahua Volcano
sent out a mushroom-shaped column of ash and gas 32,800 feet (~10 km)
above the volcano's crater.
October 21, 1999
- On 18 October, the Geophysical Institute
of Ecuador reported that the Tungurahua Volcano continues to show increasingly
vigorous activity. Tremor saturates the seismic records. There are high
levels of gas emissions. A volcano-tectonic earthquake was recorded
on the 18th at a depth of 4.3 km. Continuous ash clouds are rising above
the summit with ashfalls. On 19 October, a new eruptive espisode, occurred
and ash clouds rose to 25,000 feet (~8 km).
- A total of 22,000 people have been evacuated
from the area surrounding the Tungurahua Volcano. Measures are being
taken to protect the Agoyan hydroelectic power plant located on the
October 19, 1999
- On 17 October, the Tungurahua Volcano
alert level was raised to ORANGE. Volcanic tremor is so strong as to
mask other seismic signals. Incandescent tephra has fallen on the W
flank. The crater has become enlarged on a N-S axis, and a stream of
gas and ash continues to rise from the crater. Very high sulphur dioxide
S02 levels have been measured. Inclinometers have detected signs of
cone deformation. On 18 October, the Tungurahua Volcano covered the
surrounding areas with a blanket of ash. The towns of Banos, Pinipe,
Puela, and Bilboa have been evacuated. An appeal for international disaster
assistance has been requested by the Minister of Housing and Urban Development.
Authorities expect this emergency will last 20 months.
October 18, 1999
- On 16 October, the Government of Ecuador
reported that the Tungurahua Volcano could erupt any day and began evacuating
nearby communities. Officials said at least 12,000 of the 25,000 people
threatened by an eruption have already left the area. The volcano has
been expelling gases, steam, and ash for several days. Experts have
calculated there is an 80% chance the volcano will erupt. Lava could
flow over a ridge into parts of Banos, a town famed for its hot springs
and mountain trekking. Tungurahua means "Throat of Fire" in
the Quechua Indian language.
October 13, 1999
- On the morning of 11 October, ash colums
rose to 500 m. A 11 October report indicated that a strong continuous
tremor is blanking all other seismic signal. Slight but continuous ashfalls
to the W are now being reported.
October 12, 1999
- On October, there were three phreatic
explosions. Sulfur dioxide emissions increased to values between 9,000
to 10,000 MT per day and dropped to ~6,000 MT per day on 7 October.
On 7 October, the Civil Defense met with participants from international
and diplomatic missions. International cooperation was requested.
October 6, 1999
- On 5 October, the Tungurahua Volcano
sent up an explosion of gases. Three mountain climbers and their guide
were injured. The Civil Defense has activiated emergency operations
and contingency plans are now being put into place. The Tungurahua Volcano
is very restless with long period and hybrid earthquakes, as well as
September 30, 1999
- Numerous phreatic eruptions per day are
occurring at the Tungurahua Volcano. Magma may be rising in the in the
column. SO2 flux of nearly 7,000 tons/day are being reported.