Active volcanoes / Aktive vulkaner:

Tungurahua, Ecuador  

From November 15th 2002 till today.

Photo: Michel Monzier 31.mai 1999

Tungurahua, 5,223m asl., one of the many of Ecuadors volcanoes, with 70 eruptions during
the past 3000 years, is really three volcanic mountains.
Tungurahua I, also called 'The Black Giant', is an adesittic stratovolcano, 14 kilometers
wide. The crater has previously collapsed, after an eruption of dacitica lava (what's that?)

Tungurahua II mostly formed by lavaeruptions. During tha last collaps (about 3.000 years ago?)
8 cubic-kilometers of dust and ash moved several kilometers from the summit.
Tungurahua III has reconstructured the edge of the crater several times, probably
about 2300 and 1400 years ago.
Then again three eruptions in modern time, in 1773, 1886 and from 1913-1916.

Thursday, January 19th, 2012
IG reported a new episode of activity and increased seismicity from Tungurahua during 11-17 January.
On 12 January ashfall was reported in Manzano (8 km SW), Cahuají (8 km SW), and Choglontus (13 km WSW).
A lahar descended the Achupashal drainage, carrying blocks up to 1 m in diameter, and caused the road to Baños
(9 km N) to be closed. Cloud cover prevented observations of the crater. On 13 January ash-and-gas emissions
were observed, and ash plumes rose as high as 7 km (23,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W. Ash-fall was reported in Palitahua
(6 km SSW) and roaring noises were heard in Cusúa (8 km NW) and Manzano. On 14 January ash emissions rose
500 m above the crater and drifted WSW; ashfall was reported in Choglontus, Palitahua, and Manzano.
Clouds obscured views on 15 January; however ashfall was reported in Palitahua and Manzano.
Lahars descended drainages in Juive (NW) and Pondoa (N), carrying blocks 10-20 cm in diameter.

Monday, December 25th, 2011
Seismic activity remains at a moderate level. Most of the time the volcano has remained completely overcast,
the clouds were observed column emission load moderate to high ash 500 meters west direction. This morning it
had reports of ash falling apple. There were light rains that did not generate lahars.

Earthquakes: A total of 18 long-period events (LP), a small explosion and 7 episodes of tremor of continuous emission.
Observations, and ash emissions: Most of the time the volcano has been cloudy, clouds could be seen streaming load
a moderate to high ash than 500m in height towards the south west. This morning ashfall was reported from
the area of El Manzano. rains and lahars:

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

At 13.18 UTC

At 11:56 UTC

After the increase in seismic activity and surface manifestations recorded yesterday, December 22, the volcano
maintained a level of activity considered as moderate and characterized by the constant emission of gases and ash.
The amount of ash emitted by the volcano, at present, is mild and the winds have dispersed south-west.
Areas affected by the ash is limited to areas near the volcano, and there have been reports of this material
fall El Manzano, and Chacauco Choglontus.

On the last night we observed the glowing block output reaching about 500 m and then descended about 500 m
just below the level of the crater. During the morning we heard bellowing moderate.

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Tungurahua resumed its eruptive activity on Sunday with earthquakes, explosions and ejection of incandescent material. Authorities declared an orange alert in the area surrounding the Tungurahua volcano.

After declaring that level of alert, the second highest after the red, plans were also prepared for shelters if necessary,
but "there is still no evacuation action," said a source.

For now, they have only closed the road between the towns of Bath and Penipe. In areas near the crater of the
mountain, school activities were suspended to safeguard the safety of students. While in the city of Bath, the life of the population maintains its usual pace.

Monday morning, there were three small pyroclastic flows down the volcano, and it was topped by a column of ash
up to 5 kilometers up into the air..

Yesterday at 02:00, it ejected incandescent material covering all sides, and from 05:00, it produced almost constantly
bellows "moderate to high", which caused vibrations of windows up to 14 kilometers away. It also ejected
incandescent material in the form of blocks and lava that descended nearly 2 kilometers from the crater.

Monday, November 28th, 2011

Tungurahua Volcano Special Bulletin No. 15
New eruptive activity of Tungurahua Volcano November 27, 2011 In the afternoon and tonight Tungurahua volcano presented a eruption rapidly accompanied by explosions, pyroclastic flows and incandescent blocks emission of
ash falls and gravel, which mainly affected the western flank of the volcano.
From 16h 50 earthquakes were four volcano-tectonic origin, which were followed at 17h01 and 17h05 two small explosions, they were followed by large explosions at 17h18, 17h31 and 17h35. The blocks incandescent fell down
about 1 km below the crater. A 17.30 is reported pyroclastic flows down through the ravines of Achupashal,
Chotanpamba and Mandur in the northwestern flank of the volcano and western.
In the flank north-east there was ashfall. The volcano watchers also reported the occurrence of heavy gunfire and
explosions caused by sounds similar to rock falls. There are reports of ashfall in the towns of Bilbao and Manzano.

At 18h58 it was reported that a new pyroclastic flow descended the gorge Achupashal.
19h05 A pyroclastic flows observed on the flanks south and south-west of the volcano.
Until now holds 19.00 volcano intense seismic activity known as volcanic tremor.

Sunday, November 5th, 2010
Tungurahua is billowing ash into the sky and sending super-hot pyroclastic flows surging down its slopes,
causing authorities to evacuate nearby villages.
No one has been injured nor any village damaged. People within
8 miles of the volanco's center were evacuated Saturday as a precaution.

Monday, November 30th, 2010
During 25-26 and 29 November incandescent blocks were observed rolling down the flanks.
During 26-30 November, steam-and-ash plumes rose to altitudes of 5.5-9 km (18,000-29,500 ft) a.s.l. and
drifted SW and W. Plumes also drifted NW on 28 November. Ashfall was reported in areas within 8 km downwind,
and roaring was occasionally reported. At night during 28-29 November Strombolian activity ejected blocks that
rolled 400 m down the flanks. Satellite imagery on 29 November showed an increase in sulfur dioxide concentrations.

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010
At 10:35 pm.local time, yesterday, was a blast creating incandescent blocks falling to the flanks of the volcano,
and a column of ash, from 6 to 7 km in height and ash deposits affected populations of the western and south-west
of the volcano. During the morning there were other minor explosions and ash emissions with less energy than the
one at 10h35 pm.

In general, so far the energy and amount of ash released in this episode is less than the values obtained in the eruption
of May 28 this year. But the recent process is considered high threat to the area as the streams down from the volcano are heavier now due to rain in the sector. Yesterday evening there was a lahar that temporarily dammed the river Puel.

There were 32 events of long period (LP), 6 and 13 episodes explosionstremor. The explosion of 10:35 pm. threw
blocks down the flank between 1000 and 1500 m. That was accompanied by a column of ash from 6 to 7 km in height
with moderate load of ash. Subsequently minor explosions were reported with emissions of ash columns 2 to 3 km
above the summit.
. For several weeks there have been the seismic phenomena of rocks breaking up and the movement of fluids that
have not been very powerful but showed internal activity.

February 10th, 2008

22h00 (Local Time)
The volcanic activity of the Tungurahua has once again experiencing a sharp increase in activity.
From the evening of Sunday, 10 February, although on this occasion it is not a further increase in the tremor internal explosive activity or generation of flows as happened between Wednesday and Friday.
This time it is a permanent and abundant ash, which is characteristic of an
open volcanic conduit
and has capacity of spraying gas and magma and pulling it several kilometers up into the atmosphere.

From approximately 15h00 today(21.00 UTC) , Sunday, the volcano has increased considerably
with its mission of ash, which was very abundant after 16h45 and it keeps up. The column of ash and smoke is
sustained, steady and very full of ash, rising to a height of 5 km above the crater. The prevailing wind direction is
towards the south-west, towards the town of Riobamba, so the ash fall in that city is abundant, as in the cantons
Guano, Colta and Penipe. There is a possibility that it will even advance to the city of Guaranda and surrounding cantons. From 20h00, wind is taking another important part of the ash column in the direction of Puyo.

This new change in the type of volcanic activity of the Tungurahua confirms its internal instability, but does not change
the interpretation expressed in our previous report of February 8th regarding the possibility of new large explosive
eruptions. Rather, we believe abundant ash could continue to characterize the activity of volcano in the coming days
since the volcanic system is open.

Other places in danger of ashfall are Santa Fe de Galán, El Manzano, Choglontus, Cahuají, Guanando, Palitahua y Puela.

February 8th, 2008
At midnight Central European time, or 19.00 local time on the 7th, the volcano continued with tremors of varying intensity, together with columns of ash reaching heights of up to 3.000 m. The tremors were possibly all accompanied with
pyroclastic flows. Peaks of activity were at 11.30, 13.30 from 14.20 to 15.10 and at 17.10 local time yesterday.
The pyroclastic flows that were recorded were in Chontapamba and up to the old road to Baños from Riobamba,
and at Juive and Mandur, some hundred meters from the summit. All these streams were on the north-western flank
and western side of the volcano

February 7th, 2008
From 11:30 am, local time, this morning, the activity of the volcano began a new phase of intense activity.
Until 13h30, reports from the TSB indicate that the volcano presents a column of ash
of 5 km hight with high ash content . Authorities have reported falling rubble in the villages on the
Southwest flank in Puela and Choglontus. The seismic activity is characterized by a
vibration signal or volcanic tremor.
Additionally, Satellite images show a hot spot in the crater of the volcano, which indicates the
presence of magmatic material on the surface. We must point out that activity similar to this have been observed previously in the Tungurahua during major eruptions, where Tungurahua has generated
pyroclastic flows and large amounts of ash.

Hoy Online
The third eruption of Tungurahua occurred yesterday between 23:30 and 00:30 local time.
At that time pyroclastic flows were expelled , on the northwestern flank of Juibe-creeks and Cusúa-fell , which led the authorities to order evacuation from the high-risk areas (see chart).

It is feared that parts of the ash from the volcano Tungurahua will be taken by the wind and fall in Cotopaxi, Bolivar, Guayas, Los Rios, Manabi and Napo.
The Directorate of Civil Aviation (DAC) set up a contingency plan in the event
of a displacement of ash at air terminals in Quito and Guayaquil.

Nearly 224 families (approximately 1000 people) evacuated in the early hours of yesterday to the three shelters Penipe, with a capacity of about 2000 people. Earlier about 2.000 evacuated from Baños, most of these were tourists.
30 people from the surrounding areas have not wanted to leave, so their departure will be by force to avoid deaths

January 26th, 2008
The Tungurahua volcano continues at a high level of activity, characterized by a high number
explosion, which indicate movements or vibrations inside the volcano.
It also kept the emissions of ash at a high level, sending ashcolumns up about 1.000 m above the summit,
whereafter they drifted up to 2.000 m towards the sectors of El Manzano, Choglontus, Cahuají ans Riobamba

It is also important to note the brightness around the summit, and the number of  incandescent blocks
rolling up to 700 m down the slopes of the volcano.
The 24 hours periode ending friday morning UTC showed 75 LP, 41 episodes of tremor and 277 explosions.

January 18th, 2008

The seismic activity is similar in the past few days while maintaining a high number of explosions. The
populations of the western side are being significantly affected by ashfalls.
Emissions containing variable ash reached heights of less than 4 km.
The populations most affected by the ashfalls are Choglontus, Manzano, Penipe and
Palitahua. During the night incandescent material was observed, reaching 200 m above the summit.
Blocks were coming down the flanks for a distance of 1000 m. explosions at 18h23, 18h49 and 18h56 local times, blocks rolled down as far as 2.000 meters below the summit. . Late yesterday there was a small pyroclastic flow of
approximately 50 m length and about 400 m wideon r the north-western side of the crater.
The horn indicating danger of eruption of the volcano Tungurahua rang hard yesterday in the tourist town of Baños,
during a drill evacuation for students in schools and colleges in the city. The students from the schools and colleges
formed rows during the streets and out of the city to a football arena used for this kind of exercise.

After the end of the drill, the authorities began to carry out the assessment, and despite the satisfaction of completing the drill, they noted certain shortcomings "to be corrected. It seemed like one passage took as long as 13 minutes, while the recommendation given by the Geophysical Institute should be no more than 10 minutes.

January 15th, 2008

Hoy Online

The activity still remains high, but there have been only half as many explosions since Sunday. However, the seismic
activity below the volcano seems to increase steadily.

In Puela and Yuibug, communities located in the canton Penipe (Chimborazo), almost all the doors in the houses
have locks because families have been away since 2006, mostly because of fear for the volcano.

So, of the 30 families living in Puela, only two are remaining, while in Yuibug, out of 45 families, only four have not left.
Also in other communities located at the foot of the volcano, families are leaving their homes, except on the side of
Chimborazo, where people refuse to leave. Even the four families in Yuibug are sleeping in Penipe during nights.

Those left do not know where to live or where to go. One father says that he of course has concern for his
children, but he do not have another job elsewhere, and all he can do is raising animals.

To convince residents in the dangerous zones, and to have them to leave forever, the Government is promoting a credit program, to help people in Pelileo, Patate, Baños and Penipe Guano. They will all receive an amount to buy a
new home, and another amount to buy new land, to start with agricultural activities and farming.

January 13th, 2008

Yesterday was another day with more than 30 explosions per hour recorded. Now the Geophysical Institute
recommends people in risk areas to evacuate. Yesterday the seismic activity was even higher, with an upward
trend in emissions of lava, gas, ash and incandescent rocks.

Ash fell again in Baños, and the gas and ash column reached 4.000 m above summit.
So far about 600 acres of corn in Chaso Bajo, Chaso Alto, Guanando and La Palestina (Chimborazo)
have been damaged by ash.

Despite this, hundreds of tourists are coming to see the 'show', as described by some.
Also entire families or groups of friends arrived yesterday to the road that leads to Cotaló, in Pelileo (Chimborazo).
Children were anxious waiting to admire incandescent rocks falling on the slopes of the volcano.

Meanwhile more and more people are now wearing masks

January 12th, 2008
Earthquake of 3.7 degrees magnitude in Tungurahua 12:00 (17:00 GMT)

An earthquake of magnitude 3.7 on Richter scale was recorded today, Saturday, in the province of Tungurahua
without casualties or material damage.

The Geophysical Institute reported that the earthquake occurred at 08:10 local time (13:10 GMT)
at 1.20 degrees south latitude, longitude 78.32 degrees west, and at a depth of 14.39 kilometers.
The Institute has reported that the earthquake was felt in Baños


Many of the residents refused to leave their lands yesterday, while commercials of Baños and Pelileo did not want
to raise the alert-level, fearing that would affect the arrival of tourists.(So here we go again, people feel they
are more or less forced to stay in their homes)

The community of Juive Grande is in orange alert. However, the population maintains its normal rhythm of life.
Yesterday, a splendid sunshine allowed to look at Tungurahua volcano. The issuance of columns of steam and ash is permanent, but people went to work as usual. And is that Juive and in other communities, both on the side of
Tungurahua and Chimborazo, the resistance of people to leave their homeland responds to a number of reasons.

One is not to find new land as fertile as they have: After the eruptions of 2006, they planted corn and the harvest
and sale in 2007 was excellent. Despite the ash, some fields are still green. But perhaps the most depressing is being
forced to leave, and perhaps never again return.
Hoy Online

J anuary 11th, 2008

Friday evening:
The Tungurahua volcano, went on to a phase of increased activity with up to 30 explosions per hour,
which will continue forcing the relocation of settlers. 800 have already been evacuated today.

This is the result of a new phase with a sustained activity at a fairly high level, which is characterized by a sequence of
explosionsthat can reach 30 in an hour, that is up to 600 explosions a day, twice as much as yesterday.

The conduct of the volcano is similar to 2006, when a violent eruption left six dead, several villages buried
under ash and about 6500 injured.

Friday morning:
New asheruptions up to 3.000 m above the summit. There have been 61 LP events, 72 episodes of tremor
and 283 explosions, number of this is still increasing.
Ash were falling in Baños, Iyuchi, Runtún and Punzan. Incandescent material was seen up 800 m above summit.
Vibrations in ground and windows were reported several places.

January 10th, 2008

Hoy Online
A special report from the Geophysical Institute yesterday said that variations in the activity are comparable to those
obtained a few days before the eruption of July 14, 2006. Risk for a larger eruption, like that one, is likely
to occurwithin the next few days, and may result in problems for the livestocks and people in the area.

The acceleration of energy inside the Tungurahua volcano threatens to astrong "explosion" in a week or two,
according to the GI. The areas of Penipe and Guano are on orange alert, while Tungurahua is maintaining yellow alert.
The alert was changed following the latest report of the Geophysical Institute presented yesterday.

The families of Bilbao (Chimborazo)feel they are not disposed for in case of emergency. They have 16 trucks ready
for the evacuation of people in case of emergency. However, there are 15 watchtowers set up in different areas.

Meanwhile, in Bilbao (Chimborazo), some 250 families in high-risk areas of volcanic eruption voluntarily leave their
homes at night. Some of them sleep in the homes of relatives in Riobamba and others come to the hostel in the area
of El Altar hostels or rented and paid for by the Government. In the area of El Manzano, in Penipe, corn was lost
because of the large amount of ash falling in recent days.
The Geophysical Institute has reported 71 LP events, 24 episodios of tremor and 188 explosiones.

Januar 9th, 2008
Farmers in the vicinity of the volcano now are affected. Several livestocks were hit by falling ash yesterday,
when the activity of the volcano increased again. It is now showing 'an upward trend'.rundt

The Geophysical Institute has reported 87 LP events, 20 episodes of tremor and 163 explosions between
January 7th and 8th. This is equal to the activity in May 2006, prior to the eruptions with pyroclastic flows in July
and August that year. Ashfall has been reported from Choglontus, Manzano and Palitahua.

In Rio Blanco, 15 minutes from Baños, they have now built 108 new homes and in La Paz (Pelileo)
another 200 homes are being built. They are made for people that have been evacuated from the slopes
of the volcano, in Cusúa and Bilbao, but apparently the work is still several months behind schedule.

Januray 7th, 2008 (Not valid as per Sept.2010)
Emissions and explosions that have occured last night were caracterised as roaring explosions and gunfire.
Large quantities of melting water came down the slopes in the sector of Las Pampas, but does not so far
treat the roads. However, risk is high that it will increase in the coming hours.

Authoratives and relief agencies are ready for evacuation in larger scale if necessary.
Accoring to the Geophysical Institute in Quito, the volcano is now presenting an internal activity similar to the one that prefcided major eruptions in July and August 2006. (Will try to find more info and update later).

As many people already evacuta the area at night, trucs and buses from relief agencies are touring the areas of Cusúa
and Juive every night to pick up residents and take then to three hostels where they can sleep and even have breakfast
before returning to their homes next morning.

Long period (LP) earthquakes and harmonic tremors are present. They are associated with the fluid pressure
inside the volcano. The Tungurahua volcano continues to show a high number of explosions.

The ongoing activity at Tungurahua has been increasing since October last year. Especially after December 29th
the explosions have been heavier. On January 2nd the number of explosions was the highest number recorded
since September 2006.
Ash has been reported falling near the populations of Bilbao, Manzano and Choglontus and Pillate, all located
on the south-western flank of the volcano.
(La Hora, Ambato)

About 7PM women and children are coming down the slopes of the volcano and are being carried by truck or bus
to Baños. Their husbonds and oldest sons are being back home to prevent children from stealing during nighttime.
Other areas are now preparing for evacuation in case of a larger eruption.

Februar 27th, 2004

Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image from the Terra satellite,
it’s easy to see why this volcano (center) is also called the “Black Giant”—its flanks are coated
with dark lava flows. In this scene, captured on January 14, 2004, a plume of ash is rising from
the volcano and is stretching northeastward across the Andes and the lower elevations to the east.

(NASA Natural Hazards)
During 19-23 February, emissions of steam, gas, and ash continued at Tungurahua.
On the afternoon of 19 February ash fell in the towns of Puela (~8 km SW of the volcano)
and Pillate (~8 km W of the volcano). An explosion on 22 February at 2355 produced
an avalanche of incandescent volcanic blocks that traveled ~1 km from the summit.

September 11th, 2003
Ash emissions continued at Tungurahua during 3-8 September. Ashfall occurred in the town
of Pillate on 3 and 4 September and in the town of Mocha on 4 September.
During the eveningof 7 September incandescence was visible in the crater.

May 3rd, 2003
The Instituto Geofisico (IG), reports that a total of 3 events of long period and 1 explosion with displacement reduced of 11.45cm2 has been entered at 2048 (local time) on May 1st.. The explosion generated a column with average ash content of 2 km height. In addition it was accompanied by the exit of incandescent material that rolled 800 meters by flanks of the volcano. Related to this event there were reports of slight vibration of glasses in the city of Baños. Observations due to the high cloudiness have not later been possible. Unlike the previous days, they now detect a slight increase and change in the seismic activity of the volcano which is the reason it is important that the population stays alert to the messages that are given by the authorities in case of changes in the activity of the volcano and/or the generation of lahars.

November 15th, 2002
The Instituto Geofisico (IG), reports that 41 earthquakes of long period, 21 emissions and
1 explosion at 04:35 have been registered last 24 hours. The explosion of the dawn could be listened to in Ambato. In the neighbourhoods of the volcano the glasses of the houses vibrated
and incandescence was observed up to 800 m under the crater. Soon a noise similar to that
of the turbines of an airplane was listened to. In the morning a gas column was observed that
rose until a peak altitude of 1 km and blew to the west.

Courtesy of Dr. Henry Gaudru via SWVRC

Older reports from Tungurahua only in norwegian, but lot's of pictures! click here
The story from the beginning: Click here!

 Fascinating Ecuador! (norwegian)
 Institute Geofisico, Ecuador
 Diario La Hora
 Diario Hoy Digital
 Volcano World, NODAK


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