Volcano shakes Ecuador

GONZALO SOLANO
Last updated 09:16 04/02/2014

Relevant offers

Americas

Diplomatic gamemanship from North Korea over Sony hacking Cubans hope to travel to US US issues worldwide travel alert, only the second of its kind President Obama declares US will retaliate against North Korea for hacking attack on Sony North Korea responsible for Sony hack - FBI Explainer: What you need to know about the latest Sony hack Driver jailed for causing fatal crash while saving ducklings US Republicans trying to block normal ties with Cuba Outrage after school replaces blind boy's cane with pool noodle Executed black teen pardoned after 70 years

A cloud of ash that climbed 4-kilometres into the air from Tungurahua volcano has affected a third of Ecuador's provinces and forced the suspension of classes at some schools after temporarily closing a regional airport.

A series of 10 powerful cannon-like blasts shook the 5023-metre-high (16,480-foot) volcano overnight. Tungurahua is nearly 140km south of Quito.

Fernanda Naranjo of Ecuador's geophysics institute said there have been no pyroclastic flow - fast-moving, super-hot fluidised masses of rock fragments and gases - since Saturday (local time).

One such flow halted less than a mile from a highway, according to a bulletin posted on the institute's website. But none has reached villages, where residents have been evacuating their homes during the night time, then returning during the day. The volcano resumed erupting late last week after being quiet since October.

In Monday's bulletin, the institute said it was likely that Tungurahua would continue to experience explosions and produce small and moderate pyroclastic flows. It also said continued adverse health effects and more disruptions of air travel were possible.

On Sunday, ash from Tungurahua forced the closure for several hours Sunday of the Mariscal Lamar airport in Cuenca, Ecuador's third-largest city.

The government called for voluntary evacuations of hundreds of people living near Tungurahua, officials distributed masks to protect them against the inhalation of ash.

Tungurahua has been erupting sporadically since 1999. In 2006, a pyroclastic cloud killed four people and left two missing.

Ad Feedback

- AP

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content