The eruption of the Reventador volcano is dropping ash on eastern suburbs of Quito. Ecuador’s Geophysical Institute reports that, so far, the ash fall is light but could intensify depending on the strength of the eruption and wind direction. The institute is advising residents of areas most affected to wear eye protection and masks if they experience discomfort.
Reventador, located on the border of Napo and Sucumbíos Provinces, about 50 miles east of Quito, has been in an active state since 2002 with more intense eruptions occurring since 2012. The current eruption is one of the most intense to date.
The communities of Cayambe, Papallacta, Puembo San Antonio de Pichincha and Tabacundo have reported the largest ash accumulations, according the Quito environmental office. So far, air quality has remained above the danger level, although officials say they are monitoring sulfur dioxide and particulate levels closely.
The geophysical institute says that Sunday’s ash fall is the result of strong eruptive activity Saturday night that saw gas and ash to rise 6.7 kilometers into the atmosphere.
Some residents of eastern Quito were reporting eye irritation and breathing discomfort Sunday afternoon.