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Cities on volcanoes

The Andean region of Ecuador is a volcanologist's paradise and a risk manager's nightmare. Along the densely populated Interandean Valley, there are approximately 30 potentially active volcanoes, eight of which have erupted during the last 500 years. Guagua Pichincha (above), shown blowing off steam in 1999, lies only a few short miles from the capital of Quito, population 1.2 million.

Cities on Volcanoes 4 is a symposium that will meet in Quito next year to help city officials, emergency managers and volcanologists figure out how to avoid future volcanic disasters. The fun part? Dozens of field trips onto and into nearby volcanoes.

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