by Staff Writers
Quito (AFP) Dec 4, 2011
There was no sign Sunday that eruptions at Ecuador's Tungurahua volcano would cease any time soon, geologists monitoring the activity said.
Experts with the Geophysical Institute (IG) said that since dawn "powerful roars and explosions sounding like cannon blasts" coming from the volcano could be heard in the area, rattling windows and shaking the ground in nearby towns.
Geologists also reported a columns "with a moderate to high load of ash" rising four kilometers (2.5 miles) above the crater. Ash was reported to have spread to a dozen nearby villages.
On Saturday, and again on Sunday, there were two eruptions in which the volcano spewed gas, ash and red-hot rock, with lava pouring some 1,000 meters (3,300 feet) below the crater.
The 5,029-meter (16,500-foot) volcano is located about 135 kilometers (84 miles) south of the capital Quito. The volcano has been active since 1999 but its thermal activity has steadily increased since November 27.
Eruptions at the Tungurahua, which means "Throat of Fire" in the indigenous Quechua language, peaked in 2006, killing six people in a village in Chimborazo province.
The Geophysical Institute on Tuesday recommended people leave high-risk areas around the volcano.
Several communities near Tungurahua, including the tourist town of Banos with 15,000 people, were forced to evacuate during the volcano's violent eruption in 1999. Residents could only return to their homes one year later.
Indonesia closes airport after volcano erupts: official
Mount Gamalama, which forms the entire island of Ternate in North Maluku province, erupted late Sunday and forced an airport in Ternate town at its foot to close Monday, transport ministry spokesman Bambang Ervan said.
"It's a safety measure. The volcanic ash may pose a risk to planes. If there is no more eruption, the airport may be opened tomorrow," he added.
The 1,715-metre (5,630 feet) volcano caused some panic when it erupted, Darno Lamane, a scientist monitoring the peak told AFP.
"It shot ash and dust particles 2,000 metres into the sky. There were no reports of casualties or injuries but people did panic for a while, screaming as they ran out of their homes," he said.
"The situation has calmed and many residents have gone back home. We will continue to monitor the volcanic activity," he added.
Lamane said that the volcano last erupted in 2003, when no fatalities were recorded.
Indonesia sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire" where continental plates collide, causing frequent seismic and volcanic activity. The archipelago nation is home to 129 active volcanoes, including 21 on Java.
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Ecuador volcano spews fiery rocks, warnings issued
Juive Grande, Ecuador (AFP) Nov 29, 2011
Ecuador's Tungurahua volcano spewed red-hot rock and ash Tuesday as officials upgraded their eruption warning level to orange and some at-risk communities began evacuations. The 5,029-meter (16,500-foot) volcano in the country's central Andes, about 135 kilometers (84 miles) south of the capital Quito, has been active since 1999 but its thermal activity has steadily increased since Sunday, s ... read more
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