In the Andes Mountains, A Long-Quiet Volcano Blasts Ash and Vapor

Illustration for article titled In the Andes Mountains, A Long-Quiet Volcano Blasts Ash and Vapor

Today, 30 miles south of Quito, Cotopaxi—a volcano that first erupted in 1534, but has been quiet since the early 1940s until a few recent months of unrest—spewed plumes of ash and vapor. Though the blasts spread gray powder across the area, scientists in Ecuador do not believe a major eruption is imminent.

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AP Photo by Dolores Ochoa

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DISCUSSION

That’s what KOMO-TV in Seattle said in March of 1980. Two months later, the ash inundating us caused Central Washington University to close for 8 days.

This is what we saw just before day became an ominous, starless night from 10am to 1pm on Sunday, May 18, 1980.