Ash covers Ecuador farming land

A volcanic eruption in Ecuador has covered 80,000 hectares of farming land in Ecuador in ash, the Andean country’s government says.

A farmer and his donkey walk on a road covered by the ash expelled by the Sangay volcano, in Alausi, in the province of Chimborazo, Ecuador, 20 September 2020
EPA

The worst affected areas are the provinces of Chimborazo and Bolívar in central Ecuador but Guayas and Los Ríos to the west have also been hit by the ash. 

View of ash from the Sangay volcano on the rooftops in the town of Alausi, in the province of Chimborazo, Ecuador, 20 September 2020
EPA

“We didn’t know where all this dust was coming from,” resident Feliciano Inga told El Comercio newspaper. 

View of ash from the Sangay volcano on jeans hanging on a clothesline in the town of Alausi, in the province of Chimborazo, Ecuador, 20 September 2020.
EPA

“We saw the sky go dark and grew afraid,” he added while trying to shake the ash off the maize he grows to feed his four cows.The ash comes from Sangay, one of Ecuador’s most active volcanos. A powerful eruption on Sunday generated a dark ash plume which reached a height of more than 12,000m.

Thick cloud of ashes are seen covering the surrounding areas of the city, following the eruption of Sangay volcano, in Alausi, Ecuador, September 20, 2020
COPYRIGHTCOURTESY OF POLICE OF ECUADOR VIA REUTERS

Sangay is one of eight volcanoes on the Ecuadorean mainland which have been active in the past five centuries. The other seven are Cotopaxi, Tungurahua, El Reventador, Cayambe, Guagua Pichincha, Chacana and Sumaco.Sangay is located in a mainly uninhabited region in the province of Morona Santiago, but Sunday’s eruption was so powerful that the ash – helped by strong winds – has been carried into Ecuador’s agricultural and cattle region.

View of a coin next to the ash from the Sangay volcano on a street in Alausi, in the province of Chimborazo, Ecuador, 20 September 2020.
EPA

Ecuador’s agriculture ministry has offered help to clean up pastures and crops in the worst-hit areas, including supplying food rations for cattle and water pumps to help spray crops clean. The international airport in the port city of Guayaquil was also temporarily closed.

A man cleans ash from the Sangay volcano off his vehicle in the town of Alausi, in the province of Chimborazo, Ecuador, 20 September 2020
EPA

BBC NEWS

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