In light of Cotopaxi’s increased activity in recent weeks, the British Embassy in Quito organised a briefing event on 22 September 2015 for the British community to hear directly from the Ecuadorean authorities responsible for monitoring the Cotopaxi volcano and for crisis preparedness and response. Hosted at the impressive Planetarium of the Military Geographic Institute (IGM), the event was an opportunity to understand the risks and discuss contingency plans.
130 attendees from the British community heard preparations from Elizabeth Gaunt, from the Geophysical Institute of the National Polytechnic (IGEPN), who described eruption scenarios and their monitoring systems, Eloy Basantes, from the National Risk Management Agency (SNGR), who explained alert systems and emergency response procedures, and Alejandro Terán, from the Risk Management Unit of the Municipality of Quito, who emphasised that every family should prepare its own emergency plan to consider and mitigate risks. The speakers also answered questions from the community.
All attendees were provided with an information pack about crisis preparedness. After the presentations, the community enjoyed a cocktail as well as an exhibition of emergency equipment and recommended household supplies. The British Embassy also encouraged all attendees to sign up for Travel Advice alerts and to follow the Embassy on Twitter and Facebook for further information.