EcoAlert: Ecuador’s Tungurahua Volcano in Violent Eruption

Tungurahua Ecuador's Tungurahua volcano — "throat of fire" in the indigenous Quechua language — high in the Andes mountains, about 80 miles (130 kilometers) south of Quito, Ecuador's densely populated capital, exploded, blowing truck-size boulders nearly a mile (1.6 kilometers) away last Friday, prompting the evacuation of at least 300 people, according to the Associated Press. The 16,500-foot (5,000-meter) volcano, which roared back to life in 1999 after nearly 80 years of slumber.

Tungurahua is an active stratovolcano located in the Cordillera Oriental of Ecuador. The volcano gives its name to the province of Tungurahua. Volcanic activity restarted in 1999, and is ongoing as of 2011, with major eruptions on 16 August 2006, 6 February 2008, 28 May 2010, 4 December 2010 and 26 April, 2011.

With its elevation of 5,023 m, Tungurahua just tops over the snow line (about 4,900 m). Tungurahua's top is snow covered and did feature a small summit glacier which melted away after the increase of volcanic activity in 1999.

All of Tungurahua's historical eruptions originated from the summit crater and have been accompanied by strong explosions, pyroclastic flows and sometimes lava flows. In the last 1,300 years Tungurahua entered every 80 to 100 years into an activity phase of which the major have been the ones of 1773, 1886 and 1916-1918.

Tungurahua-volcano (1)

The Daily Galaxy via Associated Press

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