Tungurahua: Ecuador’s ‘Throat of Fire’ Volcano Erupts

Ecuador's "Throat of Fire"Photo: Soledad Contreras, European Pressphoto AgencyMolten flames escape from the Ecuadorean volcano “Throat of Fire” on April 29, 2011.

Throwing boulders as big as trucks distances up to a mile, the volcano threatens the lives of more than a 25,000 people in the highlands 80 miles to the south of Quito, the capital of Ecuador. National Geographic has more images in its gallery, documenting the event. The volcano “throat” that you see is actually its second, formed on the remains of a caldera that collapsed back 3,000 years ago.

The locals call it Mama Tungurahua (Tungurahua means “throat of fire”). Its eruptions have been part of life for locals since 1999 – the latest era of explosions in its history. In 2006, the most violent eruptions occurred, killing 7 people, a family and 2 scientists. This latest eruption slowed down on the 30th of April, prompting a major cleanup of ash and rock in surrounding towns. Other big eruptions occurred in 2006, 2008, twice in 2010, and now April 2011, so it seems that this volcano erupting on an ever more frequent timeline.

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