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Ecuador volcano blasts lava high above crater

- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 18, 2012

QUITO, ECUADOR (AP) - Volcano monitors say Ecuador's Tungurahua volcano shot lava a half mile (1 kilometer) above its crater overnight and blasted hot rock and gas nearly 2 miles (3 kilometers) down its flank.

The regional director for the government's emergency agency is Lourdes Mayorga and she says officials have prepared shelters and are working to evacuate any people in danger on Tuesday.

The country's National Geophysics Institute said the volcano blasted lava well above its crater overnight and sent out a plume of ash and gas about a mile (1.5 kilometers) high.

The renewed eruption in central Ecuador began last week and plumes on Sunday rose as high as 3 miles (5 kilometers) above the 16,479-foot (5,023-meter) crater.

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