Cotopaxi continues to rumble. According to Ecuador's security ministry, smoke mushroomed from the volcano on Wednesday to a height of 4 kilometers above the nearly six kilometer high peak. This has interfered with commercial flight activity and flight patterns have now been changed to accommodate the continual smoke and ash.
We are continuing to organize relief efforts in order to be prepared for a major eruption. Our church in Quito is rallying to gather needed supplies and open their homes to possible refugees.
To answer some of your questions:
Why is this volcano more serious than other active volcanos?
Population. A major eruption could affect and displace up to 350,000 people.
High Elevation = Glaciers. Cotopaxi reaches a peak of 19,347 ft. In the event of a major eruption there would be immediate melt of the glacier covered peak causing very dangerous lahar flows. In the past, Cotopaxi lahar flows have destroyed everything in its path for up to 100 kilometers (62 miles) in more than one direction, not just the direction of the crater.
Why do you need to raise funds BEFORE the volcano even erupts?
Research. Past natural disasters world wide have taught emergency relief agencies that if there is warning of a disaster, prepare for the worst. If you wait until the disaster happens, there will be very little chance of collecting supplies or pulling together a plan in the midst of panic. In the case of a volcanic eruption, electricity may be shut off, all stores will most likely close, water supplies may be cut off, and toxic ash may be falling. All very good reasons to "pray for the best but prepare for the worst." We are trying to raise the funds to purchase supplies immediately and have a well prepared plan to distribute the supplies and to host refugees. Donate at "Cotopaxi Relief Fund" HERE to help this effort.
What will happen to the donated funds if Cotopaxi DOES NOT erupt?
If there is not a major eruption, and after enough time that Cotopaxi is officially declared safe, all monies and supplies will be donated to Pan de Vida, an ongoing ministry that our church is involved with in Quito. They give long term help to the city's poor and defenseless.
Donate to "Cotopaxi Relief Fund" HERE to help this effort.