Posted by: calloftheandes | April 28, 2011

Ash Blasts Miles High from Rumbling Tungurahua Volcano

Vapor and/or ash from Mount Tungurahua, which is behind the mountain pictured. Photo by Steve Wilson, HCJB Global, Shell, Ecuador

Steve Wilson comments: Pictures of Tungurahua this morning a little after 6 a.m. from our front yard. The dead volcano Altar (los Altares) on the left. According to Google Earth, Tungurahua is about 27 miles from Shell.

Mount Tungurahua in Ecuador’s Andean corridor rocketed an ash or vapor plume into the Ecuadorian sky early on Thursday, April 28, having already emitted a series of large explosions and ash emissions for several days. The Thursday blast (pictured) was estimated at five miles high.

Ecuadorian authorities have ordered evacuations of communities in the area surrounding the volcano. Flights have been suspended between the highlands cities of Quito and Cuenca. Ashfalls have damaged area crops.

Tungurahua is about 90 miles south of Ecuador’s capital city of Quito. The Instituto Geofísico (Geophysical Institute) in Ecuador reported that at 9:20 a.m. Tuesday, April 26, Tungurahua emitted six moderate to large explosions. The volcano sent up a column of ash 4.3 miles above the mouth of the crater. On Tuesday evening westerly winds carried the ash to nearby communities.

In addition, ash reached the towns of Baños and Riobamba as well as several smaller communities, including Bilbao, Cusu, Cotal, Chacauco, Runtún Juive, Pelileo and others.

The institute’s Tungurahua Volcano Observatory received reports of ground vibrations in those communities with windows and doors rattling in the tourism town of Baños.

Tungurahua reactivated in 1999 after 79 years of dormancy, and has been closely monitored since then by the Geophysical Institute. The most recent spate of emissions began on Wednesday, April 20.

Archive: Short video by Martin Harrison of a visit by HCJB Global to areas of Ecuador affected by the eruption of Tungurahua Volcano in August 2006.



  1. Thanks for the great info and pictures!

  2. Thank you Ralph and Steve for the great pictures and the story behind the impressive smoke/ash!

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