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Reventador Eruption on November 03, 2002
Image Credit: Armando Alvarez Sanchez, Cruz Roja Ecuatoriana.
“I had just gone out to get the cattle when suddenly everything went black. It looked as if there would be a rainstorm but then the thick cloud came right down on top of us,” she told Spanish Red Cross workers who went to her village. “My husband told me that it was ash. I tried to cover myself with a plastic sheet but I was soon covered in the stuff. It kept on falling for two days and nights.” - (Quote from ECHO Aid Release from January 2003.
Reventador is the most frequently active of a chain of Ecuadorian volcanoes in the Cordillera Real, well east of the principal volcanic axis. The forested dominantly andesitic stratovolcano rises to 3562 m above the remote jungles of the western Amazon basin. A 4-km-wide caldera widely breached to the east was formed by edifice collapse and is partially filled by a young, unvegetated stratovolcano that rises about 1300 m above the caldera floor to a height above the caldera rim. Reventador has been the source of numerous lava flows as well as explosive eruptions that were visible from Quito in historical time. Frequent lahars in this region of heavy rainfall have constructed a debris plain on the eastern floor of the caldera. The largest historical eruption at Reventador took place in 2002, producing a 17-km-high eruption column, pyroclastic flows that traveled up to 8 km, and lava flows from summit and flank vents. (Description courtesy of the USGS)
This stratovolcano has erupted 24 times since 1541. The eruption, in January of 1976, produced bombs, ash, and lava. Similar eruptions occurred in 1972 and 1973. Visual observations of this volcano are rare because it is east of the crest of the Andes an perennially obscured by clouds.