Sunday, July 16, 2006

Ecuador volcano erupts, causing evacuation

At least 3,700 villagers have evacuated their homes in Ecuador, following heavy eruptions from the Tunguarahua volcano.

Authorities said on Saturday the volcano had drastically changed its behaviour, expelling toxic gasses and at least four lava flows for the first time since activity resumed seven years ago.
Some people refused to leave, saying they would prefer to die there, whilst others took shelter in schools and churches in the nearby village of El Pingue.

"We've tried to explain to the people that they need to leave because it's dangerous, but unfortunately there are people that don't want to leave and say they prefer to die here,'' said Lt. Carlos Alban of the police Rescue and Intervention Group. "They're afraid their things will be stolen.''

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