25 explosions in Tungurahua and 3,000 tremors in Pichincha
Quito, Nov 4 --(EFE)-- The Ecuadorian Geophysical Institute said
25 minor explosions occurred in the Tungurahua volcano and more than 3,000
weak tremors were recorded in Guagua Pichincha over a 24-hour period.
An increase in the internal energy within Tungurahua could cause
explosion of ash, lava and gas within days or a few weeks, warned Hugo Yepes,
director of the Institute.
The 5,016-meter (16,500-foot) Tungurahua is located in the central
part of Ecuador
and has been producing clouds of ash and glowing rock every day for more than a
Scientists call these explosions ``Strombonian'' and warn that
these are a
preamble to a ``grade three'' eruption on an international seven-point scale.
Civil Defense already evacuated 25,000 people who live near the
volcano and will
evacuate another 2,000 in settlements slightly farther from the crater.
Meanwhile, the Institute will monitor Guagua Pichincha for five
days to gain a
better understanding of its current behavior.
Th volcano is some 180 kilometers (112 miles) north of the Tungurahua
and lies to
the east of Quito, which would not be directly affected by a possible major
According to the Geophysical Institute, earthquakes were more
than Wednesday and it estimates that in the next five days these will decrease
prior to an explosion.
Yepes said the decrease in tremors is an indicator of an explosion,
adding that if
the latter occurs, the intensity will surely be greater than the ones Oct. 5 and 7,
when it spewed tons of ash over the capital and produced a mushroom cloud.