Ecuador's Reventador volcano shows eruptive activity, incandescence

By Renzo Pipoli
The Reventador Volcano is seen during an eruption on July 21, 2008. Photo by Jose Jacome/ EPA EPA
The Reventador Volcano is seen during an eruption on July 21, 2008. Photo by Jose Jacome/ EPA EPA

Dec. 26 (UPI) -- Ecuador's Reventador volcano has recently shown "high eruptive activity" and the emission of visible light caused by high temperatures, the country's geophysics institute said Wednesday.

"Several episodes of incandescence in the crater were accompanied by rolling down of blocks in the side of the volcano," the Geophysics Institute of the National Polytechnic Institute of Ecuador tweeted. The blocks came rolling down and covered a distance of over 2,600 feet, it said.


In addition, there were gas and ash emissions with a southwest direction that reached some 1,300 feet on top of the crater, the institute added.

The institute currently has an orange alert in place, the second most dangerous on the international scale. Such an alert indicates increased seismic activity and explosions, and activates contingency plans to prepare for a potential life-threatening eruption.

The institute has 84 volcanoes registered, including Reventador, which has a height of 11,687 feet and is located about 56 miles from the country's capital of Quito in Ecuador's northeastern highlands.

The last major eruption of Reventador occurred in 2002 when it reached four of eight on a volcanic explosivity index. Before that, the volcano had been inactive for 26 years. Ashes from the blast were carried by winds to Quito and covered streets, cars and buildings.


The institute also has two yellow alerts for the Chiles-Cerro Negro and Sierra Negra volcanoes, which reflects moderate seismic activity.

The last significant volcanic activity in Ecuador was seen in March 2016, when the Tungurahua volcano erupted.

The Reventador has erupted 25 times since 1541.

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