Latin America & Caribbean

Tungurahua volcano in Ecuador: Increased activity

Tungurahua volcano erupts near Banos on 31 August, 2014. Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The volcano was dormant until 1999 but has since become active again

Seismologists in Ecuador say the Tungurahua volcano is showing increased activity.

About 40 explosions were registered on Monday and even though their intensity diminished, experts have not ruled out a renewed sudden increase.

An ash cloud up to 3km (1.8 miles) in height has been rising from the volcano over the past few days.

Tungurahua, which had been dormant until 1999, lies 135km (85 miles) south-east of the capital, Quito.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Seismologists have registered dozens of tremors as the volcano spewed ash and rocks
Image copyright AFP
Image caption A large ash cloud has been emanating from the volcano's crater

Despite the increase in seismic activity, children in the area returned to class on Monday, the start of a new school year.

Resident Antonio Chango told Ecuador's El Comercio newspaper that "our children's studies can not stop just because of the volcano".

"We're fine and keen to start the school year," one young pupil told the paper.

The 5,023m-high Tungurahua, meaning "throat of fire" in the indigenous Quechua language, is one of South America's most active volcanoes.

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