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    Ecuador Volcano Erupts, Prompting Evacuations

    December 18, 2012; 8:24 AM ET

    Steam and ash rise from the crater of Tungurahua volcano, as seen from Huambalo, Ecuador, Dec. 17, 2012. More powerful blasts rose above the volcano late last week. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)

    Ecuador's Tungurahua volcano has sprung back to life, uncorking a series of powerful blast.

    People living along the slopes of the volcano were being evacuated as of Monday, following onset of the eruption last week, the BBC News website said.

    Ash rained upon Banos, where schools were suspended.

    Blast clouds lofted as high as 3 km, or 16,500 feet, last weekend, geologist Erik Klemetti wrote in his Eruptions blog.

    Tungurahua had been dormant until eruptions in 1999 kicked off the cycle of erupts that is still ongoing. Eruptions in 2010, 2011 and earlier in 2012 also prompted evacuations.

    Towering to 16,479 feet, Tungurahua is located along the spine of the Andes nearly 90 miles south of Quito.

    Another look at Tungurahua, its upper slopes clad in snow. This 1976 image was taken by Minard Hall (volcano.si.edu/Escuela Politécnica Nacional, Quito)

    The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com


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