Ecuador

Ecuador's Tungurahua volcano registers 50 explosions in 24 hours

QUITO, Jun 27, 2006 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Ecuador's National Geophysical Agency said on Tuesday the Tungurahua volcano had registered 50 explosions in the past 24 hours.

The Tungurahua volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in Ecuador, started its second activity peak this May since the eruption process began in August 1999.

It is now experiencing "shivers": constant tremors inside the crater's bed. The agency's volcanologists have observed constant emissions of gas, ash and water vapor that is forming a cloud around 1 km above the volcano's crater.

Authorities said people could observe the volcano closely as it had been alternating periods of calm and moments of intense activity, which can last for months.

Flocks of villagers living near the volcano, located 135 km from the capital Quito, have voluntarily left their homes, saying the loud explosions made it hard for them to sleep at night.