Ecuador: Tungurahua Volcano Erupts

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Ecuador's Tungurahua volcano spewed glowing ash and pyroclastic material into the air on Sunday (March 10) as it showed intensified activity for a second day.

Javier Mayorga, the head of the "risk unit" for the nearby municipality of Banos del Agua Santa, said that access to the area around the volcano had been restricted to ensure the safety of those in the area.

"We have determined sites from where we can see the volcano. We have searched for safe look-out sites because in the areas where there is greatest visibility towards the volcano, we cannot guarantee the safety of visitors. That is why we have restricted access to the volcano," he said.

Local media on Saturday (March 09) reported that ash was reaching 1.24 miles into the sky.

Tungurahua is a towering 16,480 feet high and lies some 80 miles south of the capital city of Quito.

In December, the town of Banos de Agua Santa was covered in a thick layer of volcanic ash, forcing authorities to encourage local residents to evacuate the area.

Tungurahua, which means "Throat of Fire" in the local Quechua language, has been classified as active since 1999, and produced a strong eruption in 2008. It is one of Ecuador's eight active volcanoes.