Disasters & Accidents

Ecuador raises alert over ashfall from Sangay volcano

Quito, May 21 (EFE).- Ecuadorian authorities raised an alert Friday over the fall of ash in the Andean province of Chimborazo and the likelihood of it affecting four others due to intense activity of Sangay volcano.

Volcanic ash has now been reported in the towns of Alausi, Tixan, Sibambe and Achupallas in Chimborazo, and the National Secretariat for Disaster Risk Management (SNGR) warned that it could also affect the neighboring provinces of Bolivar, Los Rios, Guayas and eventually Cañar.

SNGR head Rommel Salazar confirmed to EFE that “several explosions have been recorded today” on the Sangay volcano, which has been in an active period since May 2019.

The agency was monitoring the situation, and institutions that form the risk management system in the affected provinces and municipalities have been put on alert for possible emergencies, Salazar added.

Since 7.20pm local time (00:20 GMT) there has been an increase in the energy of a tremor linked to the emission of ash, the Geophysical Institute of the National Polytechnic School of Ecuador reported.

According to satellite images, winds have swept the ash from Sangay in a westerly direction.

The column of ash arising from the volcano has reached a height of 2,300 meters above the crater, the Institute reported.

Sangay, at 5,230 meters high and located in the Amazonian province of Morona Santiago, is one of around 50 volcanoes in Ecuador, most of them located on the so-called Avenue of the Volcanoes in the Andean region.

Sangay is the last volcano to the south of Ecuador and its name, according to several researchers, comes from the word “samkay” in the Kichwa language, meaning to scare or terrorize, although it could also come from the word “shanga,” of the Shuar indigenous people, which means kind. EFE


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