Ecuador volcano spews 10km ash column

06:08, Apr 05 2014
Tungurahua volcano
THE CLOUD: Ecuador's Tungurahua volcano spews molten rocks and large clouds of gas and ashes near Banos, south of Quito.

Ecuador's Tungurahua volcano has spewed a 10-kilometre column of ash after a powerful, five-minute explosion that shot pyroclastic material onto its northern and northwestern flanks.

Ecuador's geophysics institute said the blast occurred at 6.10 pm local time on Friday and was followed by a second, four-minute explosion and five lesser tremors.

The 5023-metre volcano, nearly 140km south of Quito, revived on February 1, with eruptions that affected a third of Ecuador's provinces and temporarily closed a regional airport.

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

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AP