- Title: ECUADOR: EXTINCT EL ALTAR VOLCANO UNLEASHES MASSIVE LANDSLIDE
- Date: 15th October 2000
- Summary: PUGAL, ECUADOR (OCTOBER 13, 2000) (REUTERS) 1. SLV RIVER "BLANCO" (WHITE RIVER) FLOWING UNDER BRIDGE 0.04 2. SLV PAN WATER FLOWING OVER AREA THAT DISAPPEARED (3 SHOTS) 0.24 3. SLV BRIDGE OVER RIVER; AREA COVERED BY MUD 0.29 4. SCU ONLOOKERS SITTING DOWN WITH SAD FACES; RIVER; PEASANT WOMEN; PEASENTS SEATED (4 SHOTS) 0.59 5. SLV AFFECTED AREA 1.07 6. HAS AFFECTED AREA (2 SHOTS) 1.16 7. SCU/MV PEASANT WOMEN CRYING AND HUGGING (2 SHOTS) 1.36 8. GV PAN AFFECTED AREA; HAS AREA; SLV BRIDGE; SLV ROAD PAN TO RIVER (5 SHOTS) 2.02 9. SLV PEOPLE AND TRUCK AND MILITARY PEOPLE IN AREA 2.12 10. SCU MEAT OF DEAD ANIMAL; PEASANT CUTTING MEAT OF DEAD ANIMAL (4 SHOTS) 2.32 11. TRACKING SHOT CRACK IN GROUND WHILE SOLDIER WALKS BY 2.39 12. LV LAKE ALSO COVERED BY MUD 2.43 13. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) ALBERTO SALAZAR, MAYOR OF PUGAL SAYING: "The landslide fell over the lake and it did not bare the weight and it exploded." 2.53 14. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) VICTIM WHOSE SISTER DIED, ANA PILCO SAYING: "I went up and I came down but my sister never did." 13. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) VICTIM WHOSE SISTER DIED, TERESA PILCO SAYING AS SHE CRIES: "I never imagined this would happen. That it would get all the way to here." 3.11 15. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) GERARDO AVENDANO, DIRECTOR OF CIVIL DEFENCE SAYING "There are about 10 people who have disappeared. Here on my back there used to be a trout farm that has disappeared completely; four homes have also disappeared; about 200 heads of livestock are gone; and we estimate that about 500 hectares of agricultural land has been destroyed." 3.55 16. SLV SOLDIERS CLIMBING INTO BACK OF TRUCK 4.03 17. SCU DEAD ANIMAL ON TRUCK 4.07 18. SCU GROUND TILT UP GV AREA AFFECTED BY LANDSLIDE 4.11 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 30th October 2000 12:00
- Location: PUGAL, ECUADOR
- Country: Ecuador
- Reuters ID: LVAERRLO6E4KM7OJ7YMGK7GAQD47
- Story Text: At least two people were killed and at least 15 others
reported missing after central Ecuador's extinct El Altar
volcano unleashed a massive landslide that destroyed several
homes, agricultural land and livestock.
The landslide on the slopes of the El Altar volcano,
near the city of Pugal, 150 kilometres south of the capital
Quito, happened on Friday morning (October 13)..
"There are about 10 people who have disappeared. Here on
my back there used to be a trout farm that has disappeared
completely; four homes have also disappeared; about 200 heads
of livestock are gone; and we estimate that about 500 hectares
of agricultural land has been destroyed," explained Gerardo
Avendano, Director of Civil Defense.
A couple dies, trapped inside a truck, when White River
(Rio Blanco) leading from the volcano overflowed, carrying
dirt and rocks.
According to local residents, nine other people perished
in the mudslide.
"The landslide fell over the lake and it did not bare the
weight and it exploded," said Alberto Salazar, Mayor of the
damaged city of Pugal said.
Thirty people, who suffered minor injuries, were
transported to local hospitals in Riobamba, the capital of the
province of Chimborazo, where the mudslide occurred.
Pugal, a town of 1,200 residents located at the base of El
Altar and 14 miles (23 km) from the province's capital of
Riobamba, a farming region was hit the hardest by the
One reason there were relatively few human casualties is
that not many residents live on the banks of the river and
those who did sought refuge when they heard water rushing down
The landslide was apparently triggered when a glacier fell
into a lake near the volcanoes summit, spurring a large wave
that carried water over its edges according to the Geophysical
Institute at Ecuador's Polytechnic University.
At one point the White River, which is usually about six
metres wide, reached nearly 150 metres in width, swallowing a
small valley and the houses and crops inside it.
El Altar ("The Altar") is 17,021 feet (5,319 metres) high,
making it the fifth largest among the series of volcanoes that
dot the small Andean nation of 12.4 million people.
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