Villagers evacuated as Ecuador volcano erupts

December 5, 2010
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)

(AP) -- The Tungurahua volcano in Ecuador is billowing ash into the sky and sending super-hot pyroclastic flows surging down its slopes, causing authorities to evacuate nearby villages.

Hugo Yepez, director of Ecuador's Geophysical Institute, says no one has been injured nor any village damaged. He says people within 8 miles of the volanco's center were evacuated Saturday as a precaution.

An eruption of ash from Tungurahua last May caused a one-day shutdown of the international airport at Ecuador's largest city, Guayaquil. Thousands of people in near the also were evacuated.

The volcano is 95 miles (150 kilometers) southeast of Quito, the capital. In 2006, an eruption buried entire villages and killed at least four people.

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