ECUADOR DIGESTVolcano causes flight re-routing but no cancellations

Jul 15, 2013

The eruption of the Tungurahua volcano has caused the re-routing of flights between Quito and Guayaquil and Cuenca but airport officials say they don’t expect it to cause cancellations. Quito – Cuenca routes have been shifted 50 miles to the west to avoid ash clouds.

According to officials, the volanco ash plume extends almost three-and-a-half miles into the atmosphere but calm winds have kept it mostly in place above Tungurahua. They say they are monitoring the situation and will cancel flights if the plume shifts to the west.

Previous eruptions have caused flights to be cancelled and airports to be closed on several occasions since 1999, once for five days.

Brazil falling cow death recalls Ecuador case

Wednesday’s death of a Brazilian man by a falling cow recalls a 2004 highway fatality south of Cuenca.

In Februray 2004 a 37-year-old Nabon man was killed instantly on the Cuenca – Loja highway when cow that had been grazing on the adjacent mountain lost its footing and plunged 600 feet to the highway below. Police said the cow hit the hood of the man’s pick-up truck and rolled through the windshield. The accident happened five miles south of Saragura.

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The Brazilian man was asleep in his bed when the cow fell through the roof.

Guayaquil is Ecuador’s poorest city

According to the National Insitute of Employment and Statistics (INEC), Guayaquil is Ecuador’s poorest city with a poverty index  of 13.75%, up 3.71% from 2012.

The trend runs counter to those in most other cities, especially Cuenca and Quito, where the poverty index has been dropping in recent years.

Cuenca's poverty index is 6.1% while Quito's stands at 8.35%. The index counts the percentage of the population living below the poverty level set by the government.

Other cities with high poverty indexes are Machala and Ambato. Cuenca ranked lowest of all Ecuadorian cities with populations of more than 100,000 in the poverty index, which noted that Cuenca was the country’s “most middle class city.”

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