Twin eruptions threaten chaos for Ecuador
Sunday 28 November 1999
Yesterday teams of workers were struggling to clear volcanic ash from Quito's airport, a task expected to take up to six days. The white ash, which made the city look like it had been hit by a snowstorm, clogs jet turbines and makes the runways treacherous for landings and take offs. All flights were being diverted to the port of Guayaquil, Ecuador's second city, and another airport in Latacunga, 55 miles south of Quito.
In an Andean valley almost 9,500ft above sea level, Quito is ringed by nine active volcanoes. Guagua Pichincha, only seven miles from the city, last erupted 340 years ago, but has been rumbling since September. Ash from its 15,700ft crater has shut the airport half a dozen times since then.
Schools were closed after Thursday night's explosion. The mayor, Roque Sevilla, called for calm, told residents to use masks to protect eyes and lungs from abrasive ash and asked them to help sweep the streets. Thieves took advantage of the half-light to steal CDs and equipment from a local radio station, slipping into the studios while guards took shelter from the noxious ash.
Since September, Quito has gone from yellow to orange alert several times - meaning an eruption was likely in days or weeks. But a red alert such as the one declared around Tungurahua - which predicts an eruption in hours - has yet to be reached. An eruption by Guagua Pichincha could shower Quito with a thick rain of dangerous volcanic ash, and would send lava down onto villages below the crater.
- 1 Forget 'The Dress': Here are five of the biggest news stories you might have missed
- 2 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 5 Saudi Muslim cleric claims the Earth is 'stationary' and the sun rotates around it
British are sexually uptight, dirty and drink too much – according to Spanish book
PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
White and gold or blue and black – what colour is the dress? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
Saudi Muslim cleric claims the Earth is 'stationary' and the sun rotates around it
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Russia's roadmap for annexing eastern Ukraine 'leaked from Vladimir Putin's office'
£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...
£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...
£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...