You might not have heard, but Volcan Tungurahua (pronounced Tung-gor-ah-wa) a whopping 5,029 meters high and 85 miles South of where I am, is trying to erupt at the moment.

It started its latest phase of eruptions on July 14th with a 5km high plume of ash and pumice. Although, get this, pilots – yes airoplane pilots – reported ash plumes at 10.7km (35,000ft)!

You can see a live-ish arial shot of it on Microsoft’s Windows Live Local or in the pictures below.

Reuters press photo of Tunagurahua volcano in eruption on 15 July 2006

AFP press photo of Tunagurahua volcano in eruption on 15 July 2006

In fact since October 1999 the Volcano has had active status, as it has been intermittently producing smoke and ash. This has meant the evaculation of local farms as fields were covered in ash, and the local tourist village of Baños (a Spa town with hot water springs and pools – which I was hoping to visit) has also been evacuated.

I still might visit Baños to take a look.


Tungurahua has 3000 meters of steep vertical slopes, which in the event of a large explosion that structurally altered the top of the Volcano, would facilitate the arrival of a whole mass of Lava in the town in MINUTES.

Ahem. Having second thoughts now.

So far the ash from eruptions and gas explosions, has been blown West as far as the Pacific coast. We did think we might be able to see the ash when we were in Cotopaxi National Park last week (July 23-4th) but it was too cloudy – and fortunately for us the wind hasn’t been pushing ash North.

I’ll keep you updated.


2 Responses to “Volcan Tungurahua”

  1. mum & dad Says:

    Best to miss this area this time. Precise info though – thanks.

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