City of a million threatened by volcano
Friday 12 November 1999
Vulcanologists have posted "yellow alert" warnings on highways, indicating that the mountain, one of 31 active volcanoes in the country, could explode "imminently". Hours after thousands of pupils were evacuated from schools on Tuesday, the rumblings grew dramatically louder, while wind carried sooty grey particles from the crater and dumped them on the city of 1.2 million.
"We have to sweep it up," shrugged Quito's mayor, Roque Sevilla. Ever since the volcano started spewing smoke and particles on 7 October, city dwellers consider the ash more a nuisance than a hazard. It cannot be hosed away, because once it gets wet it blocks drains as effectively as cement.
Last month communities near the Tungurahua (Throat of Fire) volcano, 78 miles from Quito, were evacuated by government order. Recently police used tear-gas to deter villagers who pressed to return to their homes to retrieve belongings. Lava from the volcano could quickly turn the nearby town of Banos into another Pompeii.
Quito is not threatened by lava flows but a big upheaval of ash and rubble from Guagua Pichincha and subsequent mudslides and earthquakes put it at considerable risk. Hugo Yepez, of the Geophysical Institute, said it "has a higher level of energy" and predicted "a major explosion" was likely.
- 2 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 3 US? China? India? The 10 biggest economies in 2030 will be...
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...