Saturday, February 16, 2008

Ashes from Ecuadorian volcano destroys crops

Ash from Ecuador's erupting Tungurahua volcano caused major crop damage and has covered the nearby city of Riobamba.

The country's geophysical institute said some 135,000 residents were affected especially in the districts of Guano, Colta, and Penipe.

The 16,477-foot Tungurahua is spewing a permanent column of ash to the northwest up to four kilometer high.

In February 6, Tungurahua had a medium sized eruption, releasing lava, rocks and gases along with ash, forcing the evacuation of several villages. The eruption has been smaller compared to blasts in July and August of 2006.

The blast on August 2006, killed five people and inundated three villages. After an 80 sleep, the volcano became active in 1999.

The volcano is located in the tourist hub of Banos in central Andes, 150 kilometers km southeast of the capital Quito.

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