Ecuador Volcano Erupts

December 05, 2010; 8:30 AM
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A column of smoke and ashes comes out from the Tungurahua volcano in Pelileo, Ecuador, Saturday, Dec. 4, 2010. No casualties were reported. (AP Photo/Patricio Realpe)

A red alert was issued Saturday as the Tungurahua volcano in Ecuador erupted, sending lava and ash billowing almost a mile into the sky.

The volcano was most active Saturday morning when people on the slopes reported ground and building vibrations and ash and pyroclastic flows were observed, according to a report of the Ecuador Institute of Geophysics.

Winds blew the ash cloud in an east southeasterly direction and the lava was observed on the western side of the volcano. Saturday afternoon ash was reported falling on Mera, a town in the Pastaza providence of Ecuador.

"The winds were light and coming from the west and will remain light at between 5-10 mph," said Meteorologist, Eric Leister.

The ash will still be moving in an easterly direction, but without strong winds they will not travel far.

More than 8 miles (14 kms) away in Guadalupe, there were reports of windows being vibrated.

The National Agency of Risk Control issued a red alert, which prompted residents close to the volcano to evacuate, according to CNN. The red alert was later downgraded to orange as the activity in the volcano settled some.

No injuries or property damage was reported as of Sunday morning.

The volcano last erupted in May and caused the international airport in Guayaquil to shut down for one day, according to the AP.

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