Ecuador: Tungurahua Volcano OCHA Situation Report No. 9

Ref: OCHA/GVA - 2006/0198
OCHA Situation Report No. 9
Tungurahua Volcano - Ecuador

This situation report is based on information provided by the office of the UN Resident Coordinator in Ecuador, the United Nations Country Team (UNCT), IFRC and media reports.


1. According to the National Geophysical Institute of Ecuador, since 15 September the activity of Tungurahua volcano has been changing. The experts have observed an increase of long period seismic events associated with fluid movement and fractures of rocks. Small quantities of sulfuric acid (SO2), lava flows, steam columns, tectonic quakes and loud roars have also been registered. Thus, the threat of reactivation remains high and the volcano continues to be under strict surveillance.

2. The volcano has changed its superficial appearance and pyroclastic flows might continue moving downward. The peak of the volcano continues to be covered by a slight layer of snow; rains have been reported in the area.

3. Evacuated population continues living in 9 temporary shelters:

In Chimborazo province: 2 shelters in Guano, 2 shelters in Penipe, receiving approximately 1,000 people (237 families);

In Tungurahua province: 5 shelters with approximately 900 people (199 families).

4. The provinces of Tungurahua, Chimborazo, and Bolívar remain under UN security phase 1.

5. Safe water has been provided to the shelters, as well as food and medicines. Many families are still living in their homes or returning to them during the day. Usually, children stay in the shelters under the supervision of their older siblings.

6. Officially, the school year was supposed to start on 4 September. However, some schools in the provinces of Tungurahua and Chimborazo have not started as their buildings are being used as shelters.

National response

7. The Government continues to provide assistance to the affected areas, especially shelter and is negotiating the relocation of affected families living in temporary shelters.

8. In the capital Quito, the Social Front (composed by the Ministries of Social Welfare, Health, Education, Finance, Employment as well as other national institutions dealing with social issues) coordinates the situation room with the support of UNETE (the UN Emergency Technical Team); the purpose of the situation room is to monitor, centralize and manage all relevant information about assistance and needs.

UN and International response

9. UNETE continues to coordinate with provincial authorities, the Civil Defense, and the Ecuadorian Red Cross, International Federation of the Red Cross, the European Commission Humanitarian Office (ECHO), CARE, CRS, USAID, Save the Children, World Vision, and IOM.

10. UN agencies continue providing support as follows:

a. WFP leads UNETE's coordination activities in order to ensure an effective emergency response.

b. UNICEF provides support to the Government in monitoring the shelter's operation and provides psychosocial support to children and their families. UNICEF collaborates in this program with INNFA (a government NGO).

c. PAHO supports the Ministry of Health on the research of a chicken pox outbreak, which was reported on 11 September. At the moment 11 cases have been reported in the county of Penipe.

d. UNDP works on the early recovery strategy.

e. FAO supports the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock in recuperation and rehabilitation of land.

11. This situation report, together with additional information on other ongoing emergencies, is also available on

Tel. +41-22-917 1234
Fax: +41-22-917 0023

In case of emergency only: Tel. +41-22-917 2010

Desk Officer:
Ms. Isabel Garcia-Gill, E-mail:, Direct Tel. +41-22-917 1915

Press contact:
(GVA) Ms. Elisabeth Byrs, Direct Tel. +41-22-917 2653
(N.Y.) Ms. Stephanie Bunker, Direct Tel. +1-917-892 1669


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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