VIDEO: Ecuador Volcano Erupts

By Jim Andrews, AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist
12/6/2011 10:35:58 AM


Erupting Tungurahua Volcano, as seen from Cotalo, Ecuador. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)

Ecuador's towering Tungurahua Volcano has erupted, blasting ash and red-hot lava high above the Andean landscape.

There have been no reports of injury or major damage.

The latest blast began on Sunday, Nov. 27, when an explosion on the mountain's summit sent a shower of incandescent lava unto its flanks, according to the Global Volcanism Program (GVP) website. The blast yielded a pyroclastic flow that spilled down one of the drainages.

Pyroclastic flows are burning hot blasts of gas and ash that can be deadly and devastating.

Incandescent rock and ash continued to erupt into the following Tuesday. Ash plumes rose 3 to 4 km (about 2-2.5 miles) above the crater with ash fall dusting some towns within 10 km (6 miles) of the summit.

People in high-risk areas were evacuating voluntarily, the US Geological Survey said in its Weekly Volcanic Activity Report for the week ending Nov. 29.

Tungurahua is located about 140 km (80 miles) south of Quito, the Ecuadoran capital. It is one of the Andean nation's most active volcanoes and has a summit elevation of 5,023 m (16,479 feet).

It had a major eruptive cycle from 1916 to 1918. The latest eruptive cycle began in October 1999, according to the GVP. There were blasts in April and May 2011.


Video credit: gaiafilms/YouTube