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Ecuadoran Eruption Destroying Crops February 14, 2014
February 2 eruption of Tungurahua volcano.
Ecuador's Tungurahua volcano shooting up a huge plume of ash on Feb. 2, 2014.
Ash from powerful blasts at Ecuador’s Tungurahua volcano has damaged crops around the towering mountain, causing a produce shortage and higher prices for residents.

Thousands of acres of farmland have been damaged by the volcanic debris, including pasture lands that were the main source of food for 110,000 head of livestock.

Panicked farmers were forced to harvest tomatoes, potatoes and corn before the crops reached maturity.

The volcano roared to life on Feb. 2, sending a giant plume of ash soaring 8 miles above the Andes and pyroclastic clouds cascading down Tungurahua’s slopes.

Weaker and less frequent blasts have occurred since then.

Tungurahua has been intermittently active since it roared back to life in 1999 after remaining dormant for more than 80 years.

An explosion from the 16,480-foot volcano last July was heard across a wide stretch of the country, including in the southwestern port of Guayaquil.

An eruption in 2006 left four people dead, two missing and large tracts of farmland destroyed.

In December 2012, a fiery eruption sent people rushing from their homes and caused chunks of molten lava to shoot high above the summit crater.

Photo: Ecuadorian Geophysical Institute