Impacts and management of recent volcanic eruptions in Ecuador : lessons for New Zealand

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Leonard, G.S.; Johnston, D.M.; Williams, S.; Cole, J.W.; Finnis, K.; Barnard, S. 2005 Impacts and management of recent volcanic eruptions in Ecuador : lessons for New Zealand . Lower Hutt: Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences. Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences science report 2005/20 46 p.

Abstract: This report summarises the observations and interpretations of a reconnaissance trip to central Ecuador in November 2004. The purpose of the trip was to investigate infrastructural and agricultural volcanic impacts and volcanic hazard emergency management in Ecuador, focussing on lessons for New Zealand. The team included participants from the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences, the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management, the University of Canterbury and the University of Otago. In November 2002 a major ash fall from Reventador volcano caused significant impacts on Quito, the capital of Ecuador. Quito airport and most schools closed for almost a week. This followed ash fall from two eruptions in 1999 and many dozens of earlier historic eruptions. Quito is one of few large urban areas to feel the effects of volcanic ash falls in recent times and the scale of the events there provides a unique opportunity to investigate both long and short term impacts of volcanic ash falls on lifelines and urban communities. The town of Baños to the south of Quito has been in danger of proximal (potentially lethal) volcanic hazards from Tungurahua volcano, which has been in eruption since 1999, and on whose flank the town sits. The 25,000 residents of Baños were evacuated for nearly three months in 1999/2000. Towns and agricultural areas surrounding Quito and Baños also regularly experience ash falls and ongoing lahar hazards. (auth)