National Geographic : 2001 Feb
ONE THAT ALMOST GOT AWAY Final Edit THE ANDES Red-hot Luck Tungurahua was stirring, but clouds had blocked the view of the volcano for weeks. Photographer Pablo Corral Vega had traveled a hundred miles south of his home in Quito, Ecuador, to try to get a shot. Perched on a steep outcrop, he waited blindly. Suddenly the sky cleared. As he opened the shutter, glowing rocks and lava erupted with a roar from the blazing crater and rolled down the slopes. Almost simultaneously a thunderbolt backlit one side of the cone. "It was a real gift," he says. "The clouds covered the volcano again in seconds." Some 25,000 people living around Tungurahua were evacuated to safety. But in Quito 1.5 million live under the threat of smoking Guagua Pichincha (page 20). To illustrate the volcanic hazards of the Andes for Corral Vega's story, clear danger won out over beauty. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC * FEBRUARY 2001 You can send this picture as an electronic greeting card at nationalgeographic.com/ ngm/finaledit/0102.