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Ecuadoran Eruption Prompts Evacuation Warnings December 2, 2011
Tungurahua Volcano
Tungurahua spewing ash and boulders about 1,000 feet into the sky on November 28, 2011.
Ecuadoran officials urged residents of four villages around the country’s rumbling Tungurahua volcano to prepare for evacuation as red-hot ash and rock spewed from the summit.

The 16,479-foot volcano became increasingly active during the final week of November, sending pyroclastic boulders into the Andean sky about 85 miles southeast of the capital, Quito.

Tungurahua has been active since awakening in 1999 from an 80-year period of dormancy.

Several communities around the volcano’s flanks were forced to evacuate during an initial violent eruption.

Some residents were unable to return to their homes a year later. Tungurahua means "Throat of Fire" in the indigenous Quechua language.

Photo: Guillermo Viracucha - Instituto Geofisico de Ecuador