Update on volcanic activity in Ecuador
Authorities are concerned that about 325,000 people living near the Cotopaxi Volcano could be at risk by fast-moving mud and rock flows if there is a major eruption. At this time, all access to the Cotopaxi Volcano is closed. There is a yellow alert for risk of mud and volcanic rock flows along the following rivers:
Cutuchi, Barrancas, Alaques and Saquimala in Cotopaxi province; Pita, Salto and Santa Clara and San Pedro rivers in Pichincha province; and Tambo and Tamboyacu rivers in Napo province.
The Reventador Volcano has had increased volcanic activity. There is an orange alert for the immediate areas around the volcano, and authorities advise visitors not to climb the volcano.
There is a yellow alert for the Tungurahua Volcano near the tourist town of Banos and surrounding areas in Tungurahua and Chimborazo provinces. Access to the volcano is limited at this time.
Due to the level of risk, authorities have restricted access to the Guagua Pichincha Volcano, and advise against climbing the Sangay Volcano.
Falling ash from a volcanic eruption is a health hazard, especially if you have existing respiratory problems. Stay inside with windows and doors shut and place damp towels at door thresholds and other draft sources. Wear a disposable face-mask when outdoors and change it frequently. Wear long-sleeved clothing and long pants to protect your skin, and goggles to protect your eyes.
Travellers who plan to climb volcanos can get information in Spanish at this website: (http://www.gestionderiesgos.gob.ec/).
If an emergency occurs in Baños, travellers should attempt to reach the evacuation shelters on the east side of town, around the “Santa Ana” neighbourhood, and on the main road out of Baños towards Puyo. Evacuation routes are marked with yellow arrows, and a siren system is in place. For further information (in Spanish), travellers can contact the Baños Municipality Risk Management Unit at 00 593 3 2740 421.