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Ecuador: The Eruption of Tungurahua

Photo by Nelson Piedra and used under a Creative Commons license.

The Tungurahua Volcano in Ecuador has experienced a jump in activity in recent weeks. Since 1999, this activity has affected residents of the surrounding areas, especially farmers and those in the tourism industry. Some Ecuadoran bloggers are following these events, as well as other news around the country.

Janvier Samedi, in his blog MC au loi [es] points out a confusing problem that appeared in a Montreal METRO Daily:

En la ultima pagina de la edicion del dia de ayer se publico una impresionante foto de la erupcion del volcan Tungurahua, el problema es que lo titulan: “Espectacular erupción en Perú”, en donde indican que el mismo se encuentra ubicado a 135 km al sur-este de Quito “la capital del Perú

On the last page of yesterday's edition, there was an impressive picture published of the eruption of Tungurahua Volcano. The problem was with the title: “Spectacular eruption in Peru”, which indicates that the volcano is located 135 km south-east of Quito “the capital of Peru.”

As most know, Quito is the capital of Ecuador. The eruption of this volcano has also fascinated some local bloggers. La Voz de Guamote [es] writes about the ashes that are falling on neighboring communities. Nelson Piedra provides a little background of the volcano [es] and what it means to residents of the surrounding areas.

El volcán Tungurahua [es|en], que en idioma quichua significa “Garganta de Fuego”, entró en proceso eruptivo desde 1999, a partir de la fecha ha registrado periodos variables de alta actividad. Los más afectados han sido los hermanos agricultores, ganaderos que trabajan en las faldas del Tungurahua y las personas que atendian la demanda turística en Baños, a punta del sufrimiento de perder sus animalitos, cultivos, pertenencias y hasta familiares, los Ecuatorianos de baños se han ido “acostumbrando” con la actividad volcánida del “Garganta de Fuego”.

The Tungurahua volcano, which means “Fire Thorat” in the quichua language, entered in an eruptive process since 1999 and since then has registered variable periods of high activity. The most affected have been our brothers, the farmers and cattle ranchers that work on the outskirts of the Tungurahua, as well as the people involved in the tourist industry in Baños, to the point of losing their animals, crops, belongings and even relatives. The Ecuadorans in Baños have become “accustomed to” the volcanic activity of the “Fire Throat.”

Some users of Twitter have also provided information on the recent activity of the volcano. Communication studies students from the SEK University have set up a Twitter account called Volcan Ecuador [es] and provides updated news and photos of this activity.

Another blogger, Palulo Panda [es] lives 15 minutes away from the Volcano and has clear views of the activity. His twitter account also provides some viewpoints on these events.

Yo pienso que los que menos ayuda necesitan son los de Baños, solo les llega ceniza… lo siento pero otros son los necesitados.

I think those that least need the help are those from Baños, as only ash is landing there…I am sorry, but there are others more in need.

His latest blog entry provides a first-hand account as a resident living 23 km from the volcano and adds some of the aid that is being provided by local authorities.

El lugar donde me encuentro (centro de Pelileo) está a 23 kilómetros, más o menos a 15 minutos en auto del volcán Tungurahua; se podría decir que es un lugar sumamente peligroso pero no, gracias a la naturaleza existen valles entre donde estoy y el volcán. Pero ya estando en las faldas, se siente el dolor y la angustia de aquellas familias que durante la noche deben salir a albergues o donde amigos, por el sumo peligro que representa vivir en las faldas de la mama Tungurahua.

The place where I am located (the center of Pelileo) is 23 kilometers, approximately 15 minutes in car, from the Tungurahua volcano. One might say that it is a very dangerous place, but no, thanks to nature there are valleys between where I am and the volcano. But being on the outskirts, one feels the pain and anguish of those families that had to evacuate in the middle of the night to shelters or to the houses of friends due to the high risk to those living near mother Tungurahua.

Other News
In other Ecuadoran news, Southern Ecuador has a small group of prominent bloggers that, in association with the local university (Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja and Universidad Nacional de Loja), are developing projects. At the end of the 2007 they gathered on the UTPL campus at a summit that they called: Loxa Bloggers 2007

Piedra [es] also writes the five conclusion after the meeting:

1. Nos comprometemos a reconocer nuestras voces, desarrollar conversaciones horizontales, crear comunidades, romper jerarquías, inspirados en el manifiesto “Tren de Claves.”
2. Somos “open”, creemos y nos comprometemos en promover la Educación, el Conocimiento, la Autoría, los Negocios, la Colaboración, la Participación, la Tecnología y su uso para que sean abiertas y libres.
3. Como latinoamericanos seguiremos trabajando por la inclusión social, la promoción de nuestra identidad, el rescate de nuestras raíces y la mantención de nuestro patrimonio como reserva para un futuro humanista.
4. La participación ciudadana y la democracia ya ha empezado a cambiar. ¿Te quedas fuera o te unes a nosotros?

1. We pledge to recognize our voices, develop horizontal talks, build communities, break hierarchies, and be inspired by the Manifesto “Train Keys”
2. We are “open”, we believe and we pledge to promote Education, Knowledge, Authoring, the Business Partnership, Participation, Technology and its use will be open and free.
3. As Latin Americans, we will continue to work for social inclusion, the promotion of our identity, rescue our roots and keep and maintaining our heritage as a reserve for a humanist future.
4. The citizen participation and democracy has already begun to change. Are you on the outside or will you join us?

Finally, the Correa administration is changing gears in the Ecuadoran Trade, B.P.L.E [es] provides a round up about a note most Ecuadoran newspapers have echoed regarding the new administration of the Pacific Bank:

Mauricio Martinez, Gerente del Banco Central ha dicho que proceso de negociación del Banco sigue en marcha pero que los dos, Félix Herrero y Roberto González luego de enemistarse con Correa y de terminar su periodo para el que habian sido contratados, deben irse a su casa. No mas dolares para ellos sino para los profesionales locales, encargado queda el Sr Andrés Baquerizo

Mauricio Martinez, CFO of the Central Bank has said that the Bank's negotiation process is ongoing, but that the two, Felix Herrero and Roberto Gonzalez after antagonizing Correa have finished their terms for what they had been hired, must go home. No more dollars for them, but instead for local professionals, the new man in charge is Mr. Andrew Baquerizo

Pacific Bank is second in importance in Ecuador and thanks to those two Spaniards, the bank returned from a probable bankcarupcy to a sucessful business bank during the last year. How this will affect the Ecuadoran economy is something all Ecuadorans can look forward to.


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