Ecuador's Guagua Pichincha Volcano Registers Explosion

QUITO (Nov. 29) XINHUA - Ecuador's Guagua Pichincha volcano, 10 kilometers west of Quito, registered Monday a burst with the subsequent expulsion of gas and ashes.

The explosion, which occurred at 13:30 local time, was stronger than that of last Thursday and the emitting of volcanic material was less prolonged, said Quito Mayor Roque Sevilla.

The wind dragged the ashes north and east and later toward the south of the volcano's crater, he added.

The mayor considered it possible that the ashes do not fall upon the city this time.

Quito sits in what locals call "volcano alley" -- a ring of nine active volcanoes which surround the city cradled in a 2,881 meter-high valley in the Andes mountains.

Guagua Pichincha, or "baby Pichincha" in the Quechua Indian language, is one of those volcanoes and has been rumbling since September. It has shut the airport six times since then.

The volcano belched out a massive mushroom cloud of steam and smoke in early October.

Schools and airport of Ecuador's capital city were shut Friday due to the explosion of the volcano on the previous day. Enditem 29/11/99 22:19 GMT

Copyright (c) 1999 Comtex Scientific Corporation
Received by NewsEdge Insight: 11/29/1999 17:21:42