The Americas

Ecuador volcano sends up towering cloud of ash

Ecuador's Tungurahua volcano has been putting on a dramatic show, spewing lava from a cauldron-like crater and launching towering clouds of ash and gas.

The country's Geophysical Institute said Sunday the column of ash reached a maximum height of about 2 miles (3 kilometers) in recent hours, while it hurled blocks of glowing rock about a mile (1.5 kilometer) down its slopes.

The 16,480-foot (5,023 meter) peak is about 85 miles (140 kilometers) south of Quito, the capital, and close to the tourist center of Banos. It's been periodically erupting since 1999.