President Rafael Correa of Ecuador has decreed a state of emergency following the recent eruptions at the Cotopaxi volcano, 30 miles south of the country’s capital Quito.
Fears are growing that the Cotopaxi volcano in Ecuador is set for a major eruption, after recent increased activity. Hundreds are evacuated as a state of emergency is declared by Ecuador’s President. Cotopaxi is considered to be one of the world’s most dangerous volcanoes. The 19,600-foot mountain is 30 miles from the thriving capital of Quito. Fears of molten rock and gases erupting from the Cotopaxi has led the authorities to evacuate locals, as a fine grey ash covers the region.
The Daily Mail reports:
The state of emergency decree gives authorities more flexibility in using government funds to deal with any problems, usually associated with security risks.
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, known as lahares.
The formidable 19,600-foot snow-capped volcano also is close to the heavily populated area around Quito but it has not significantly erupted since 1877.
Hot ash shot out of the volcano, travelling for more than two miles in the sky and spreading a fine grey ash over roads, homes and cars in the region.
The ash has now covered as much as 30 miles of the capital, positioned north of the deadly volcano.
Authorities already had restricted tourist access to the park that surrounds Cotopaxi and suspended ascents of the peak, which is popular with mountaineers.
Presidential legal secretary Alexis Mera said further ash explosions and some pyroclastic flows on the volcano’s western slopes are expected.
Officials have already started to evacuate several more nearby villages although more people are expected to be unsettled.
In preparation for further ash from the volcano, masks have been handed out to locals.