Wednesday, December 8, 2010

What Volcano?

Lately I've gotten a bunch of pings about the volcano that's erupting. Truthfully, it hadn't even crossed my radar - which should let you know that no, I'm not affected and really, neither is Cuenca. If it was a big deal, I'd have heard.

On the other hand, what's the deal with Ecuador and volcanoes anyway? Here's the insider's scoop:


Ecuador is a mountainous country (thanks to the Andes) and we've still got active volcanoes doing their thing. They are clustered around the capital, Quito (10 - 12 hours overland from me), but there are a few eruptions further south. The locals don't always like it - ash clouds are bad for the tourist business.

The volcano erupting now is Tungurahua, whose name means "Throat of Fire" in Quichua, the indigenous language of Ecuador. It's 150 miles north of Cuenca, so we haven't noticed a thing about it. It's actually the third time this year that Tungurahua has erupted . . . so I guess people are kind of used to it? Do you get used to that kind of thing?

It's not really much of a lava spewer, but it does a lot of fancy things with ash. In 1999, when the volcano "woke up" after being asleep for decades, it did more. Now it just looks like this:


It will really only affect Cuenca if the ash cloud gets blown toward us, which might cause some flight path changes and probably make the satellite Internet system struggle. Other than that. . . not much. Enjoy the photos and don't worry, I'm fine!

No comments:

Post a Comment