Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Travel Warning

Volcano Tungurahua Erupts, Caution Advised when Traveling in the Area

Volcano picture: Tungurahua eruption in Ecuador

July 15, 2013
The U.S. Mission in Ecuador advises U.S. citizens living or traveling in Ecuador that the Tungurahua volcano, located near the tourist community of Banos in central Ecuador, reactivated on Sunday, July 14, 2013 with a period of high activity that included emissions of ash and pyroclastic flows (fast-moving currents of hot gas and rock).
Ecuador's National Secretary of Risk Management has imposed an Orange level of alert (the second highest level) for the provinces of Tungurahua and Chimborazo (including the town of Banos). In some communities immediately adjacent to the volcano, voluntary evacuations have been implemented. Ecuador's Geophysical Institute reports ash discharge has been registered in the provinces of Tungurahua, Chimborazo, Bolivar, Los Rios, Manabi and Guayas.
A thin layer of coarse black ash affected the city of Ambato in Tungurahua province. The most affected areas were the central and southern part of the city.
Past eruptions have affected air travel in Ecuador. U.S. citizens planning to fly to, from, or within Ecuador should monitor news outlets and have a plan in the event of flight cancellations. Some airlines have already canceled individual flights as a precautionary measure.
Because Ecuador is in a region of frequent volcano eruptions and earthquakes, U.S. citizens residing in Ecuador should keep extra food and water at home and consider purchasing dust masks and heavy gloves to protect hands during ash clean-up.
For more information on current activity, visit the website of the Ecuadorian Geophysical Institute, which monitors volcanoes and earthquakes.
Americans living or traveling in Ecuador are encouraged to enroll with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate in order to obtain updated information on travel and security within Ecuador through the Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.
U.S. citizens should consult the Country Specific Information for Ecuador and the latest Travel Alerts and Warnings and Worldwide Caution at the Department's website. Updated information on travel and security in Ecuador may also be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 within the United States or by calling 1-202-501-4444 outside the United States.
The U.S. Embassy in Quito is located at Avigiras E12-170 y Eloy Alfaro. The telephone number for American Citizen Service (ACS) inquiries is (011 593-2) 398-5000. Within the same city use the last seven digits. Add the city code for intercity telephone calls.
Public call-in hours are Monday through Thursday 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. and Friday 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.
For after-hours emergencies, contact the Embassy at (011 593-2) 398-5200. Appointments for ACS are available through our website.