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Ecuador takes measures to protect water systems after volcanic eruptions

QUITO, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- Officials in western Ecuador Wednesday took measures to protect the area's water systems after the eruptions of the Tungurahua volcano.

Image: A man sweeps the ashes of the Tungurahua volcano as he wears a mask to protect himself in the streets of Quero, Ecuador, some 150 km south of Quito, on Feb. 6, 2008. Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa declared Wednesday state of emergency in the area affected by the eruption of the Tungurahua, which increased dangerously forcing the evacuation of a thousand people. (Xinhua/AFP Photo)

The Geophysical Institute (IG) director Hugo Yepez said that Tungurahua's recent strong eruptions continue to emit volcanic substances, including gases and thick ash clouds that the wind spreads throughout the region.

"We ask all officials to activate the Civilian Defense (protection) system, to call the emergency centers, and to implement a series of measures to protect the water systems, and to tell inhabitants to protect their water tanks," said Yepez.

Yepez said that a big cloud of volcanic dust is heading southwest and west of Ecuadorian territory and that it may affect the provinces of Bolivar, Chimborazo, Guayas, Manabi and Canar.
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