Though given the adorable-sounding nickname “El Popo” the Volcán Popocatépetl (Smoking Mountain) in Mexico is one seriously threatening volcano. Still, it is not the only volcano causing worry. In Ecuador, the Tungurahua volcano, known as the “Throat of Fire” is active as well, having had a major eruption in 2010 which caused hundreds of village residents located 80 miles outside of Quito and in the tourist town of Banos to flee in fear for their lives.
As volcanologists continue to monitor both, here is a comparison of the two volcanoes:
Popocatépetl: 43 miles southeast of Mexico City, Mexico
Tungurahua: Andes of central Ecuador, 87 miles south of the capital Quito, Ecudaor
Popocatépetl: 17,802 feet (5426 meters)
Tungurahua: 16,479 feet (5023 meters)
Active prior to 2012-
Popocatépetl: December 1994–October 1995, 1996-2003, 2004, 2005-(current)
Tungurahua: October 1999-July 2009, January-July 2010, November 2010-(current)
Population near volcano-
Popocatépetl: Puebla pop. 1,400,000
Tungurahua: Tungurahua Province pop. 581,389
Popocatépetl is North America’s 2nd highest volcano and the 2nd highest peak in Mexico. On April 20, 2012, reports stated that a heavy plume of ash was shot into the air along with extremely hot, glowing rock. Spanish-language network Televisa even broadcast images of red material (possibly lava) pouring over from the top of the volcano.
Tungurahua is one of Ecuador’s most active volcanoes. It is one of eight active volcanoes in the country. In 2011, Tungurahua launched magma boulders more than 950 ft in the air.