Ethics, Policy, and Risk Assessment of the Cotopaxi Volcanic Crisis in Ecuador—Vulnerable Society Versus Unprepared Volcanic Monitoring Staff and Authorities

  • Theofilos Toulkeridis
  • Ana Jacome
  • Fernando Mato
Part of the The Latin American Studies Book Series book series (LASBS)


Risk monitoring, knowledge management, and communication skills play a key role in managing volcanic crises, and being the scientific knowledge, the transversal Achilles heel in risk perception, decision-making, general politics, and the main generator of confidence in population. During this study, we analyzed the ethical behavior of the policy in the risk management carried out in Ecuador on the Cotopaxi volcano after its most recent reactivation in 2015. This analysis clearly demonstrates evidence of both an inadequate risk assessment and an inadequate transmission of information to the authorities and afterward to the population, which led to loss of lives and a complicated social and economic situation throughout the affected zones. As a result of this study, important lessons were extracted and are provided here with the aim to prepare technicians and authorities to manage future volcanic crises in a more adequate form.


Ecuadorian ethics Policy and risk assessment Volcanic crisis False alert Inadequate planning Cotopaxi volcano 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Theofilos Toulkeridis
    • 1
  • Ana Jacome
    • 2
  • Fernando Mato
    • 1
  1. 1.Universidad de Las Fuerzas Armadas ESPESangolquíEcuador
  2. 2.Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales FLACSOQuitoEcuador

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