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Church steeples are silhouetted against the active Tungurahua volcano, seen from Huambalo, Ecuador, Monday, Dec. 17, 2012.

Dolores Ochoa, Associated Press

Ecuador's Tungurahua volcano prompts evacuations

  • Associated Press
  • December 17, 2012 - 12:02 PM

QUITO, Ecuador - Repeated explosions are rocking Ecuador's Tungurahua volcano, which is also shooting out chunks of molten rock.

The country's National Geophysics Institute says that a constant plume of gas and ash is rising about half a mile (1 kilometer) above the crater on Monday, with ash falling on nearby communities. Some of those towns are being evacuated for safety.

The renewed eruption began last week and plumes on Sunday rose as high as 3 miles (5 kilometers) above the 16,479-foot (5,023-meter) crater.

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