Bulletin No. 120 – Cotopaxi volcano situation 08/01/2016

Cotopaxi1

Volcano status: In eruptive process

Internal activity: Moderate

Surface activity: low

During last night and Friday morning, the nearby volcano sector was partially cloudy, and from the south, an emission of gas and water vapor at crater level was observed. This morning, slight rains in the sector, which generated a small lahar in the northwest side of the volcano were registered.

The Cotopaxi National Park Partially Reopens This protected area has been partially reopened for the enjoyment of visitors, but remember that the eruptive process began in April 2015 continues. The volcano is monitored 24 hours, every day of the year and has a warning and communication system that guarantees the safety of tourists while visiting the Park. The Park is open from 9 AM to 2 PM. From 3 PM, visitors must begin leaving. During your visit, you may witness the following:

  • Columns of water vapor and gases (with or without ash) above the volcano’s crater.
  • The smell of sulphur.
  • Mud flows (secondary lahars) caused by the melting of the glacier or by rainfall.
  • Rumbling sounds.

We recommend you follow these guidelines:

  • Register your entry and exit at the Park control points.
  • Fill out the release form.
  • Ensure you have a kit with you that contains: protective glasses or goggles, hat, face-mask or buff, and plenty of water.
  • In the event of ash fall, cover all extremities with clothing.
  • Take into account that much of the Park isn’t covered by a cellphone signal

It’s imperative you follow the instructions of the Park’s administrative staff or rangers. Be flexible with your plans – remember that access to certain roads or areas can be restricted for your safety.

Remember: The volcano is currently on yellow alert. Visits within the Park and access to it will be suspended in the event of increased volcanic activity or a change in the alert status to orange or red. At the moment, the route to the Refuge, access to the crater and the route to the Laguna de Santo Domingo are restricted. AUTHORIZED ACTIVITIES

  • Hiking on permitted trails
  • Biking – only on authorised routes
  • Picnics
  • Horseback riding on permitted trails

UNAUTHORIZED ACTIVITIES

  • Camping
  • Visits to the Refuge
  • Climbing the volcano
  • Exceeding speed limit of 35 km/h
  • Lighting fires
  • Access in heavy vehicles

*Please note that minors who visit the Cotopaxi National Park without their parents must submit a written document that authorizes the child to visit the protected area; which must be submitted with Disclaimer Form of the adult in charge.

Tourism in the Cotopaxi area All accommodation establishments in the sector operate normally. The Ministry of Environment authorizes Tambopaxi, located within the Cotopaxi National Park, to operate in the morning.

El Boliche National Recreation Area includes: BBQ and picnic areas, camping area, trails, sports fields, restaurant, café, railway station, Interpretation Center, Site Museum, among others.

Transportation Flights

Local airports are open and operating normally, including Latacunga Airport. For further information, please visit: http://www.aviacioncivil.gob.ec/

Roads

The country’s roadways are operating normally. To learn more about the current state of roadways, visit: http://www.obraspublicas.gob.ec/mapa-estado-de-carreteras-ecuador/

Railways

Ferrocarriles del Ecuador re-opened the route Quito – El Boliche – Quito. For more information, visit:http://trenecuador.com/ferrocarrilesdelecuador/

Tourism in Ecuador

NAPO: On the banks of the Jatunyacu River and in tourist communities that are in the danger zone, evacuation routes have been identified for activities such as: rafting, kayaking, community tourism, among others. The Geophysical Institute, in conjunction with the Ministry of Tourism, presented the provisional risk map for Napo to the COE of Napo and the community. To see the map, go to: http://on.fb.me/1XWaoGb

COTOPAXI: For further information about the tourist activities in the province, visit: http://bit.ly/1NSnuwm

ECU911 smartphone applicationDownload the application for free. This facilitates emergency care across the country, through the geo-referenced location of the incident, by smartphones. For further information, visit: www.ecu911.gob.ec/aplicacionparacelulares/

Keep up-to-date with the latest news on the Cotopaxi volcano situation: Call 9-1-1 (also for emergencies). Check www.volcancotopaxi.com, and follow #VolcánCotopaxi on social media

Approved by: Ministry of Safety Coordination