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Tungurahua’s restlessness continues 12 January 2010

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Activity at Ecuador’s Tungurahua volcano ‘continues at an activity considered as moderate, with a tendency to increase’, reports the Instituto Geofísico in its bulletin for 11 January 2010 (PDF).

Superficially the activity is characterized by the expulsion of incandescent material in the form of blocks and lava fountains, the constant generation of emission columns with a moderate to low ash content and constant roars of varying intensity, some of which have been audible in the city of Ambato. Reports of moderate falls of ash have been received from villages located to the west and south-west of the volcano. The presence of a thin layer of ash is reported from the city of Riobamba.

The Instituto Geofísico reports that ash columns from Tungurahua have been reaching a maximum altitude of 3 km. Explosions from Tungurahua have been shaking windows and waking local residents 20 km south-west of the volcano, in the canton of Penipe, El Comercio reports. Hugo Yépez, director of the Instituto Geofísico, is reported in El Tiempo to have called Tungurahua’s current activity ‘rising, but not yet at alarming levels’. Instituto Geofísico personnel have been touring villages around the volcano, advising on how local residents should respond if the activity increases, but the process does not seem to have been solely one-way, as the experts seem to have been listening to Tungurahua’s neighbours as well as talking to them: ‘the inhabitants are our best eyes, they are aware of the activity changing, even though we constantly monitor the volcano’, says Yépez. The volcanologists also rely on a network of 15 observers resident in high risk areas around the volcano established by the Comité de Operaciones de Emergencia de Tungurahua. These observers urgently need new communications equipment now that the volcano is active again, according to a report in El Comercio.

For all our Tungurahua coverage: Tungurahua « The Volcanism Blog.

News
Más explosiones en el TungurahuaEl Comercio, 11 January 2010
Vulcanólogo: No se puede precisar actividad del TungurahuaEl Universo, 11 January 2010
Los vigías del Tungurahua necesitan mejores equiposEl Comercio, 11 January 2010
Tungurahua tiene en alerta a pobladoresEl Tiempo, 12 January 2010

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Tungurahua – summary information for Tungurahua (1502-80=)
Instituto Geofísico (Escuela Politecnica Nacional) – Geophysical Institute of Ecuador

The Volcanism Blog