Cotopaxi volcano spews ash south of Ecuador’s capital

Snow-capped Cotopaxi volcano spews ash south of Ecuador's capital
The Cotopaxi volcano near Ecuador’s capital has spewed ash over a wide area in two pre-dawn blasts.
 
Authorities stressed that the explosions and a five-kilometer- (3-mile-) high plume of ash do not signify that the Andean country’s highest active volcano, which has been showing signs of activity since April, is about to erupt.
 
Patricio Ramon of Ecuador’s geophysics institute told Teleamazonas TV that the explosions were small phreatic eruptions, which occur when molten rock, or magma, meets water.
 
“These are the first explosions we have registered since April when [the volcano] started to demonstrate seismic anomalies,” said Patricia Mothes, head of volcanology at the Geophysical Institute.
 
“The situation merits the population staying informed about what’s happening with the volcano,” said Ramon.
 
Cotopaxi is considered one of the world’s most dangerous volcanoes due to a glacial cover that makes it prone to fast-moving volcanic rock and mud flows, or lahares, and its proximity to a heavily populated area.
 
Brian Manzano, a hotel receptionist there, said, “When I got up, I opened the door of the hotel and saw a car covered in ash. I do not know how long it has been falling.”
 
In Quito, a city of 2.3 million, orders have been given for a million surgical masks to be distributed, Mayor Mauricio Rodas said.
Courtesy of demanjo.com

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