Tungurahua, Ecuador

Location: 1.467 S, 78.44 W
Elevation: 16,475 ft. (5023 m)

Last Updated: April 27, 2004

Tungurahua is an active stratovolcano also known as the "The Black Giant." It has a 600 ft. (183 m) wide crater. Most of the volcano is covered by snow. Its causes many tremors in the nearby city of Banos. Tungurahua's lava is mostly composed of basalts. Tungurahua has had at least seventeen eruptions in historical times, its most recent occurring in 1944 when it erupted explosively from its central crater. Located about 25 miles (~40 km) west of Tungurahua is the largest volcano in Equador, Chimborazo and to the north about 50 miles(~80 km ) is Cotopaxi volcano.



April 27, 2004

Volcanic activity remained at moderate levels; steam-gas-and-ash plume rose ~0.5 to 1 km above the volcano, extended NW and fell in nearby regions. On April 24th, incandescent blocks were projected from a crater glowing red, down the slope of the volcano.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


April 20, 2004

A few explosions were reported this week in addition to the gas-and-steam emissions which were accompanied by tremor. During the reported period, no more than ten long-period earthquakes occurred each day.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


April 13, 2004

Today (April 13) heavy rainfall triggered a lahar that flowed over the Baños-Pelileo road near the La Pampa section. Otherwize during the reported period, volcanic activity was at low levels, with emissions of steam, gas, and very little ash. A red glow was visible above the crater on the 10th and 11th. According to measurements on April 11th, 1,600-1,700 tons of sulfur-dioxide were emitted per day.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


April 6, 2004

On April 4, an explosion created a gas-and-ash plume that rose to 800 m above the crater.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


March 30, 2004

Continuous degassing along with small explosions were observed this week. Small incandescent avalanches were also visble during the night of 28-29.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


March 23, 2004

Degassing continues with occasional explosions of steam, gas, and ash. Several lahar traveled in the Pampas sector on March 2, 11, and 15.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


March 2, 2004

In addition to the degassing, occasional explosions of steam, gas, and ash produced plumes up to ~500 m above the volcano which on February 25 resulted in the depostion of ashes in the sector of Chontapamba.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


February 24, 2004

Small to moderate explosions producing steam, gas, and ash plumes to ~1 km above the volcano continued to occur in mid February. Ash was sometimes deposited in the nearby towns and on February 11 and 22 avalanches of incandescent volcanic blocks traveled ~1 km down the volcano's flank.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


February 10, 2004

On February 5, the seismic activity increased slightly. Steam emissions rose to low levels and small lahars traveled down the volcano's W flank in the Quebrada Achupashal and Chontapamba. On February 9, emissions of steam, gas, and moderate amounts of ash occurred, and ash was deposited to the W in the sectors of Pillate and San Juan.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


January 27, 2004

Tungurahua continued to emit gas, steam, and ash that rose up to ~2 km above the crater. At times on January 24 and 25 ash fell in the areas of Puela and Penipe (~ 8 km SW of the volcano), and Riobamba (~ 30 km SW of the volcano). During the report period, low-level seismicity occurred.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


January 20, 2004

Gas, steam, and ash continued to be emitted and one of the plume rose~1 km above the crater and drifted N and NE.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


January 13, 2004

The level of volcanic and seismic activities remained constant this week. On January 12 ashes were in the sectors of Bilbao, Cusúa, Pillate, Ulba, Pondoa, Banos, Juive, Ambato, and Patate.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


January 6, 2004

Emissions of gas, steam, and ash, and low-level seismicity continued and were visible on satellite images during the report period. On December 31, plumes rose 3 km above the crater and on January 4, a plume deposited small amounts of ash near Puela, ~8 km SW of the summit.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


December 30, 2003

Emissions of gas, steam, and ash, and low levels of seismicity continued. On December 28 plumes rose ~1.5 km above the volcano and drifted E and NE into the city of Baños. On December 30 aircraft personnel reported an ash cloud ~800 m above the volcano. During the report period ash was visible on satellite images to a maximum height of ~3 km above the volcano.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


December 23, 2003

Volcanic activity continued at relatively high levels. During the afternoon of December 18, a signal from a lahar in the sector of Cusúa, NW of the volcano, was recorded. Plumes were visible on satellite images at a maximum height of ~7.5 km a.s.l.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


December 16, 2003

Volcanic activity remained relatively high with several explosions producing ash-and-gas plumes to a maximum height of 4 km. Many long-period earthquakes also occurred with the nearly constant gas-and-ash emissions. On December 11, ash was deposited in the towns of Quero, Santa Fe de Galán, and Bilbao. Ash-and-gas plumes were visible on satellite imagery several times during the report week.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


December 9, 2003

Frequent Strombolian eruptions were recorded. As a result, ash plumes rose to a max. height of ~9 km a.s.l. and were dispersed ~90 km in numerous directions.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


December 2, 2003

From Nov. 22 to Dec. 1, a large number of gas, steam and ash emissions occurred. Plumes rose to a maximum height of ~7 km a.s.l and deposited ash to the SW, W and NW.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


November 25, 2003

From Nov. 19-25, activity remained high and Strombolian activity was visible at night. Numerous moderate explosions produced plumes that rose 2 km high and ash was dispersed to the SW and NW from the 20th to the 24th.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


November 18, 2003

Small to moderate eruptions of steam, gas and some ash continued. Plumes rose ~2.5 km high and Strombolian activity was visible in the crater. Also, avalanches of incandescent material rolled down the volcano's flanks.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


November 11, 2003

A low level of activity was reported. Tremor represented a key seismic signal, relatively few earthquakes were observed and occasional ash-poor plumes rose <1 km high. Also, numerous ash-bearing emissions occurred.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


November 4, 2003

From Oct. 29 - Nov. 4, small to moderate eruptions of steam, gas and ash continued. On the 2nd, an eruption produced an ~3 km-high plume that eventually drifted W. Numerous other plumes were also visible on satellite imagery.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


October 28, 2003

Moderate-sized eruptions continued and ash plumes (visible on satellite imagery) rose ~2 km high. On the 26th, an emission deposited ash in Baños and, one day later, an eruption sent an ash plume ~4 km above the volcano.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


October 21, 2003

Activity remained high, with gas and ash emissions sending plumes ~1.5 km above the crater. On the 18th and 19th, incandescent blocks and Strombolian activity were reported, respectively. By the 20th, activity had slightly decreased.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


October 14, 2003

Moderate to large ash and gas emissions continued. Plumes rose average heights of 2 km above the volcano and, on the 9th, ashfall occurred in numerous areas. On the 12th, strombolian activity was reported.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


October 7, 2003

Moderate to large ash emissions continued at Tungurahua. On the 1st, a gas and ash plume rose ~4 km and deposited ash in several nearby cities. Long-period earthquakes and explosions dominated seismic activity.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


September 30, 2002

Moderate to large ash emissions continued at Tungurahua. On the 24th, emissions created plumes that deposited ash in several nearby towns. In addition to this, volcanic blocks were also observed.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


September 23, 2002

From Sept. 9-26, a period of high activity consisted of continuous tremor and strong ash emissions. On the 22nd, ash clouds rose 3 km high and drifted W.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report
September 16, 2003

Moderate-sized ash emissions occurred between the 10th and 15th. On the 15th, two emissions sent gas and ash plumes 2 km high. Seismicity was also reported at moderate levels for the week.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


September 9, 2003

Ash emissions continued and ashfall occurred in several towns near the volcano. On the 7th, incandescence was visible in the crater.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


September 2, 2003

Volcanic block and ash emissions continued during the report week. Plumes rose as high as ~4 km and deposited ash in several towns located W, SW and NW of the volcano.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


August 26, 2003

A new phase of activity began on 20 August. Long-period earthquakes was followed by 3 days of occasional gas-and-ash emissions that reached up to a maximum height of 3 km above the volcano and one evening, incandescent volcanic blocks were ejected ~300 m above the volcano and traveled ~1 km down the volcano's flanks.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


July 22, 2003

Seismic and volcanic activities were at relatively low levels with emissions of steam and gas forming low-level plumes.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


July 15, 2003

During 9-15 July, volcanic and seismic activity at Tungurahua remained at relatively low levels. IG reported that no immediate changes in activity are expected until there is a new injection of magma into the volcano.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


July 8, 2003

Following the small activity decrease at the end of June, ash plumes rose to ~2 km above the volcano and ash was seen to fall in several towns near the volcano on the 1st and 2nd; in addition, Strombolian activity occurred. Ash from eruptions damaged crops and livestock near the volcano. A state of emergency was declared on 3 July, and food rations were distributed to residents of the town of Chimborazo. Since the 2nd, mainly gas and steam were emitted from the volcano. The Alert Level at Tungurahua remained at Yellow in the town of Baños and at Orange for the rest of the population in the high-risk zone, as it has since 5 September 2000.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


July 1, 2003

Several explosions producing ash-cloud occurred this week and on 25 June ash fell in the sector of Pillate and in the town of Mocha. Ash was visible on satellite images with the highest rising ash cloud reaching ~9.4 km a.s.l. on 27 June.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


June 24, 2003

Gas emissions with small amounts of ash, and explosions continued to occur. On the evening of 17 June, Strombolian activity was visible at the volcano's summit. An explosion on 18 June at 0222 deposited ash in the sectors of Cusúa, Juive, and Pillate. On 19 June ash to a height of ~3 km above the volcano was observed.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


June 17, 2003

This week, several explosions took place, with the highest rising ash plume reaching ~5 km above Tungurahua. Some explosions were heard in towns near the volcano and on 10 June vibrations from an explosion were felt in the town of Baños

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


June 10, 2003

Volcanic activity increased around June 5 and the next day Strombolian activity was observed within ~500 m of the summit. Also, 2-km high plumes of steam were produced and drifted W. Some of the ash simultaneously emitted interfered with aviation activities. On June 9, ash at a height of ~6 km above the volcano was again reported. The Alert Level remained at Yellow in the town of Baños and at Orange for the rest of the population in the high-risk zone, as it has been since September 5, 2000.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


May 13, 2002

A small explosion on 6 May produced a gas-and-ash cloud drifting W.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


May 6, 2003

Small to moderate explosions were observed every other days this week; an explosion produced an ash cloud up to 2 km above the summit. Also, incandescent material were visible around the crater.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


April 22, 2003

Activity remained at low levels, but more small, volcanic explosions occurred at the volcano. Vapor columns and a ~2 km-high ash cloud were even reported. On the 17th, two columns rose up to 2 km above the summit.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


April 15, 2003

Activity was low, with sporadic explosions observed from the 9-14. On the 10th, the largest explosion sent a low-ash-content plume to a height of ~2 km.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


April 8, 2003

Explosions occurred occasionally at Tungurahua. On April 6, ash rising 2.3 km above Tungurahua was visible and on April 7, three explosions sent plumes as high as ~3 km above the volcano.
This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report



March 25, 2003

Several explosions occurred this week and one of them, on the 19th, was accompanied by Strombolian activity, which sent incandescent material down the volcano's flanks. After March 13th, explosion intensity decreased and tremor ceased.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


March 18, 2003

From March 11-18, seismicity was dominated by long-period earthquakes and tremor. Several explosions occurred and ash rose to heights of ~8.2 km. Strombolian activity, gas and ash emissions and loud roaring sounds were also observed.


This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


March 11, 2003

Volcanic and seismic activity increased. Explosions were accompanied by loud roaring sounds, Strombolian activity, gas and ~7 km-high ash emissions. Lahars, tremor and long-period earthquakes were also reported.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


February 25, 2003

In addition to last week's activity, a moderate explosion on the 19th (0249) created a slight, temporary increase in seismicity and also deposited small amounts of ash in nearby areas.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


February 18, 2003

The activity remains to same level as the previous weeks' report. Some small emissions of steam gas and ash occurred.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


February 4, 2003
Emissions of steam, gas, and ash commonly produce low-level plumes. Incandescence was visible in the crater during some evenings.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


January 28, 2003
Incandescence in the crater was visible during some evenings, but no other significant changes were reported.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


January 21, 2003
Low-level plumes were produced from steam, ash and gas emissions.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


January 14, 2003
Volcanic activity was low and sporadic, long-period earthquakes were recorded by the seismometer. Incandescence was still visible.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


January 7, 2003

An explosion on Dec. 30 (1136) produced a ~9.5-km high plume (a.s.l.). Incandescence became more intense in the crater, but strombolian activity was absent. After the explosion, seismicity was at low levels.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


December 23, 2002
Steam, gas, and ash emissions continued with the occurrence of 1 km-high plumes.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


December 17, 2002
Plumes rising ~1 km above the volcano were observed.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


December 3, 2002

This week, steam, gas, and ash emission producing plumes up to ~1 km above the volcano were observed.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


November 26, 2002

Plumes continued to rise ~1 km above the volcano and the authority stated a warning of lahars generation for days of heavy rain.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


November 19, 2002

Again this week, plumes rose to heights of ~1 km above the volcano. Also on the 14th, a moderate explosion was heard in Ambato.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


November 12, 2002
Ash Emissions continued and plumes rose to heights of ~7 km above sea level.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


November 7, 2002

A few plumes rose to a maximum height of ~8 km a.s.l.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


October 22, 2002

Emissions of steam, gas and ash continued while plumes rose to maximum heights of ~8 km above sea level.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


October 15, 2002

Emissions of steam, gas and ash continued throughout October 9-15. The ash plumes reached a maximum height of ~7.9 km above sea level.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


October 8, 2002

On the morning of October 2nd, an ash cloud rosing to a ~14.3 km above sea level was produced. By mid-day, the ash cloud had divided into two clouds, one at an altitude of 14.3 km and the other at 7.6 km. A few hours later, the clouds were no longer observed by satellite imagery, but ash was falling in the town of Riobamba. The next day, another ash cloud was produced, but this time rising to an altitude of only 7 km.
The western side of Tungurahua was given the Orange Alert Level, while Baños at the northern base of the volcano remained at Yellow Alert Level.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


October 1, 2002

During 25 September-1 October, episodic emissions of steam, gas, and ash were observed. One of the ash cloud was seen rising to a height of ~7 km above sea level.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


September 24, 2002

During 7-13 August, emissions of steam, gas, and ash continued at Tungurahua.
Ash clouds reached a maximum altitude of ~7 km.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


August 6, 2002

During the report period, intermittent eruptive activity continued with at least six pilot reports describing ash plumes rising as high as 6 kilometers above sea level and moving west or northwest.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


July 23, 2002

On the evening of the 21st, there was a 1-km high volcanic cloud observed as well as lava fountains and incandescent blocks rolling down the northwest flank. An eruption on the 22nd deposited relatively large amounts of ash northwest of the volcano.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


July 16, 2002
A small ash cloud was erupted from Tungurahua on July 12. Ash was deposited in Ambato and Riobamba.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report



July 9, 2002
This week, an ash clouds rose to 7 km above sea level.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


July 2, 2002

Volcanism at the volcano consisted of small emissions of gas, steam, and ash during the week. Frequent explosions emitted rocks and incandescent material that traveled down the volcano's flanks for several days. On July 1 at 1123 (local time) there was an explosion reported that produced an ash cloud that rose 1.5 kilometers above the summit and drifted to the west.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


June 25, 2002

Small-to-moderate explosions that were sometimes preceded by volcano-tectonic events were still occurring during the time period of June 4-10. On June 4, there was a moderate explosion that deposited ash in the sectors of Pillate and San Juan. Small-to-moderate explosions continued to occur similarly during June 13-17 as was on June 4-10. On June 13, continuous ash emissions were observed following three small explosions. During the afternoon, another explosion occurred producing an ash cloud that rose 2 kilometers above the volcano.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


May 28, 2002

On May 22nd, a small explosion produced an ash cloud to a height of 2 kilometers above the volcano.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


May 21, 2002

A small eruption occurred on May 12th at 01:16 which produced a west drifting column of steam, gas, and ash that rose to an unknown height. Incandescent material was ejected and travelled 1.5 kilometers down the volcano's flank. On the 12th, three small explosions occurred and on the 13th, four small eruptions also occurred. Another steam-and-ash cloud rising 1.5 km was erupted on the 14th.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


April 30, 2002

Three lahars occurred on April 28.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


April 16, 2002

Part of the ashes from one of the ash cloud fell in Banos on the 11th.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


April 9, 2002

Emission of gas, steam and ash continue at Tungurahua. On march 28th, an ash cloud rose 3-km high (above sea level) and on April 7th, a smaller cloud reached approximately 2 km (above sea level).

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


March 26, 2002

This week, several gas, steam, and ash clouds were visible. Strombolian activity was observed on the evening of March 19: ash was emitted and incandescent blocks were hurled 200 m and rolled down the volcano's NW flank. On March 21, eruptions of gas clouds with small ash content rose up to 3 km above the volcano and drifted to the W.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


March 19, 2002

A gas plume with a small ash content rose 2 km above Tungurahua and drifted to the west on march 12.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


March 12, 2002

After several small emissions of gas, steam, and ash at Tungurahua, a larger eruption produced a gas-and-ash cloud rising up to ~2 km above the volcano on March 11. During the evening, incandescent volcanic blocks were visible near the crater.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


March 5, 2002

On February 27th, a 2-km high ash cloud was produced by an explosion. In the following days, a few more explosions also were recorded. Abundant emissions of steam, gas, and small amounts of ash occurred as well. Incandescent material was visible rolling down the flanks of the volcano.

This information was summarized from the GVP/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report


February 26, 2002

Low-intensity Strombolian activity and continued at Tungurahua. In addition, there were several emissions of steam, gas, and ash. On February 19th, rain mixed with an ash cloud to produce a small lahar travelling W. On the evening of 20th, incandescent blocks were emitted and rolled down the flank. On the 21st, a 2-km high ash columns erupted. The volcano remains at Alert Level Yellow for the town of Baños and at Orange for the rest of the population in the high-risk zone.

This information was summarized from the Smithsonian Institution's Preliminary Notices of Volcanic Activity.


February 19, 2002

Strombolian activity was observed at Tungurahua on the evening of the 13th. incandescent volcanic blocks rolled about 1 km down the crater. On the 14th, strong degassing (1 km high steam plume) was observed.

This information was summarized from the Smithsonian Institution's Preliminary Notices of Volcanic Activity.


January 22, 2002

Several steam, gas and ash clouds were emitted this week with the two highest reaching 7.6 km above sea level on January 16th and 22nd.

This information was summarized from the Smithsonian Institution's Preliminary Notices of Volcanic Activity.


January 15, 2002

This week, there were several eruptions of steam and ash cloud reaching up to 1 km height. On January 9th, heavy rainfall generated lahars that travelled down the west flank of the volcano.

This information was summarized from the Smithsonian Institution's Preliminary Notices of Volcanic Activity.


6 July 2001

The Tungurahua volcano has been producing small explosions daily since 17 June. The eruptions are usually occurring without warning. The light ash fall that is produced often damages crops in the area.

This information was summarized from Smithsonian Institution's Global Volcanism Program


12 June 2001

On 2 June, the Tungurahua volcano sent an ash plume to ~7.9 km. Incandescent material was visible in the crater. On 31 May, an ash cloud rose ~7.9 km a.s.l., and incandescent blocks were also ejected. An acoustic wave was heard several km away from Tungurahua. Eruptions also occurred on 29 May and on 30 May.

This information was summarized from Smithsonian Institution's Global Volcanism Program.


24 May 2001

On 15 May, there were several small eruptions. Light ash fell on the towns of Cotalo and Bilbao. On 19 May, an eruption created an ash cloud that rose ~6.7 km a.s.l. High numbers of long-period earthquakes and seismic signals were recorded.

This information was summarized from Smithsonian Institution's Global Volcanism Program.


2 May 2001

Seismic activity indicated that brief eruptions had taken place on 28-29 April. On 29-30 April, lahars traveled to the Pampas, Cusua, Hacienda, and Achupashal sectors. The Pampas sector lahar destroyed the highway on 29 April. The river levels also rose in the Ulba and Mandur sectors. Rainy conditions may create more lahars and rising river levels.

This information was summarized from Smithsonian Institution's Global Volcanism Program.


27 April 2001

On 20 April, incandescence was visible in the interior of the dome of the Tungurahua volcano. The following day, a steam column rose above the summit. Instituto Geofiscio warned that nearby residents should be alert for potential mud flows that could form during periods of heavy rain. The town of Banos remains at Alert Level Yellow. Alert Level Orange is in effect for the rest of the high-risk zone.

This information was summarized from Smithsonian Institution's Global Volcanism Program.


6 April 2001

On 22 March, an eruption produced a column with an incandescent point which rose to a height of 2 km. Another eruption occured on 23 March and incandescence in the crater was also observed. On March 29, a small ash cloud was rose ~ 6 km and on 2 April another small eruption also occurred.

This information was summarized from Smithsonian Institution's Global Volcanism Program.


21 March 2001

During the week of 14-20 March, several small eruptions were reported at Tungurahua. The seismic activity was also at high levels. On 13 March, an ash emission produced an ash cloud that rose to ~9.6 km a.s.l. On 15 March, an eruption produced an ash cloud that rose ~3.2 km above the crater. Another ash emission was reported on 16 March which rose to 8.8 km a.s.l.

This information was summarized from Smithsonian Institution's Global Volcanism Program.


23 February 2001

On 19 February, lahars traveled down the NW flank of Tungurahua via the Cusda Gorge. A steam column also rose 1 km above the summit.

This information was summarized from Smithsonian Institution's Global Volcanism Program.


2 February 2001

According to Ecuador's Instituto Geofisico, an eruption occurred at Tungurahua on 18 January. An ash cloud to 6.7 km a.s.l resulted from the explosion.

This information was summarized from Smithsonian Institution's Global Volcanism Program.


May 22, 2000

On 20 May, the Tungurahua Volcano spewed stone and ash into the sky. Volcanic rock and mud poured down the flanks of the volcano. Mudslides resulted from the melting snow. About 8,000 residents of Banos have ignored last October's evacuation order and have returned home.

This information was summarized from Discovery Online.


April 20, 2000

On 16 April, the Tungurahua Volcano once again ejected boulders and magma. The city of Banos and other neighboring communities were put on alert.

This information was summarized from Discovery Online.


November 10, 1999

Explosions of ash and incandescent materials occur 25-35 times per day and a column of ash and gases is present at all times. The outflow of sulphur dioxide registered during the past few days has reached levels between eight and ten thousand metric tons per day. Explosions continue to grow in magnitude and are accompanied by loud bangs that can be heard as far as 20 km away. Mud flows have destroyed several segments of the road between Banos and Pinipe. Volcanic ash has affected ~50,000 hectares of farm land.

This information was summarized from the Global Volcanism Program.


November 8, 1999

On 4 November, an ash cloud erupted from the Tungurahua Volcano. The ash cloud rose approximately 30,000 feet (9 km) above sea level.

This information was summarized from the Global Volcanism Program.


November 4, 1999

On 1 November, the Tungurahua Volcano erupted at 1245 UTC, and the ash plume rose 35,000 ft. (10.7 km) into the air.

This information was summarized from the Global Volcanism Program.

For more information on the Tungurahua Volcano, refer to the Geophysics Institute of Ecuador.


October 26, 1999

On 23 October, the Tungurahua Volcano sent out a mushroom-shaped column of ash and gas 32,800 feet (~10 km) above the volcano's crater.

This information was summarized from Discovery Online.


October 21, 1999

On 18 October, the Geophysical Institute of Ecuador reported that the Tungurahua Volcano continues to show increasingly vigorous activity. Tremor saturates the seismic records. There are high levels of gas emissions. A volcano-tectonic earthquake was recorded on the 18th at a depth of 4.3 km. Continuous ash clouds are rising above the summit with ashfalls. On 19 October, a new eruptive espisode, occurred and ash clouds rose to 25,000 feet (~8 km).

A total of 22,000 people have been evacuated from the area surrounding the Tungurahua Volcano. Measures are being taken to protect the Agoyan hydroelectic power plant located on the Pastaza River.

This information was summarized from the Global Volcanism Program.


October 19, 1999

On 17 October, the Tungurahua Volcano alert level was raised to ORANGE. Volcanic tremor is so strong as to mask other seismic signals. Incandescent tephra has fallen on the W flank. The crater has become enlarged on a N-S axis, and a stream of gas and ash continues to rise from the crater. Very high sulphur dioxide S02 levels have been measured. Inclinometers have detected signs of cone deformation. On 18 October, the Tungurahua Volcano covered the surrounding areas with a blanket of ash. The towns of Banos, Pinipe, Puela, and Bilboa have been evacuated. An appeal for international disaster assistance has been requested by the Minister of Housing and Urban Development. Authorities expect this emergency will last 20 months.

This information was summarized from the Global Volcanism Program.


October 18, 1999

On 16 October, the Government of Ecuador reported that the Tungurahua Volcano could erupt any day and began evacuating nearby communities. Officials said at least 12,000 of the 25,000 people threatened by an eruption have already left the area. The volcano has been expelling gases, steam, and ash for several days. Experts have calculated there is an 80% chance the volcano will erupt. Lava could flow over a ridge into parts of Banos, a town famed for its hot springs and mountain trekking. Tungurahua means "Throat of Fire" in the Quechua Indian language.

This information was summarized from the Global Volcanism Program.


October 13, 1999

On the morning of 11 October, ash colums rose to 500 m. A 11 October report indicated that a strong continuous tremor is blanking all other seismic signal. Slight but continuous ashfalls to the W are now being reported.

This information was summarized from the Global Volcanism Program.


October 12, 1999

On October, there were three phreatic explosions. Sulfur dioxide emissions increased to values between 9,000 to 10,000 MT per day and dropped to ~6,000 MT per day on 7 October. On 7 October, the Civil Defense met with participants from international and diplomatic missions. International cooperation was requested.

This information was summarized from the Global Volcanism Program.


October 6, 1999

On 5 October, the Tungurahua Volcano sent up an explosion of gases. Three mountain climbers and their guide were injured. The Civil Defense has activiated emergency operations and contingency plans are now being put into place. The Tungurahua Volcano is very restless with long period and hybrid earthquakes, as well as harmonic tremor.

Information was summarized from the Global Volcanism Program.


September 30, 1999

Numerous phreatic eruptions per day are occurring at the Tungurahua Volcano. Magma may be rising in the in the column. SO2 flux of nearly 7,000 tons/day are being reported. For further information, refer to the Geophysics Institute of Ecuador

This information was summarized from Smithsonian Institution's Preliminary Notices of Volcanic Activity.


Sources of Information:

Dyott, G.M., "The Volcanoes of Ecuador, Guideposts in Crossing South America," National Geographic, pp. 49-93, January, 1929.

Simkin, Tom and Siebert, Lee, "Volcanoes of the World," Geoscience Press, Tuscon, AZ, 349 pp., 1994.


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