Ecuador Declares State of Emergency As Cotopaxi Volcano Erupts
“We will declare a state of emergency based on the activity of the Cotopaxi volcano. Why have I made that decision? To secure resources … to address a potential emergency and mobilize the necessary resources,” Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa said.
“God willing, everything will go well and the volcano will not erupt,” he added.
The volcano is spewing hot glass and rock after decades of inactivity and sent large gray puffs of ash 3 miles high into the atmosphere.
Pablo Morillo, head of the Secretariat for Risk Management, said that several towns and river settlements in Cotopaxi province have been cleared. Officials maintained a yellow alert in the region, a mid-range warning, and said it would remain as long as Cotopaxi continued to stir.
Cotopaxi, which rises about 19,350 feet (5,900 meters) above sea level, began erupting on Aug. 14. The last eruption took place in 1940, when muddy debris traveled more than 62 miles.