Ecuador's Tungurahua volcano blast pours out ash, incandescent rock

Quito, Apr 5 (EFE).- A powerful explosion in Ecuador's Tungurahua volcano kicked off an eruption lasting five minutes with emissions of pulverized incandescent rock and a column of ash that rose 10 kilometers (6 miles) above the crater, the Geophysical Institute reported.

The blast came at 6:10 p.m. Friday, and the pyroclastic flows of hot pulverized rock poured down the volcano's northwestern and northern ravines, the institute said.

At 6:16 came another eruption that lasted four minutes, while at 6:24 there was a slight tremor with continuous emissions, according to the institute, which added that during the day there were five explosions of moderate intensity.

The Geophysical Institute keeps a strict watch on the seismic activity of the volcano, whose eruption process began in 1999 and has been characterized by interspersing temblors of great activity with periods of relative calm.

Tungurahua, which rises 5,016 meters (16,456 feet) high in the central Ecuadorian Andes, is one of the more than 50 volcanoes in the country. EFE