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Volcano in spectacular eruption

The Tungurahua volcano in Ecuador has spewed a six-mile column of ash into the air after a powerful, five-minute explosion.

Ecuador's geophysics institute said yesterday's blast occurred at 6.10pm local time and was followed by a second, four-minute explosion and five lesser tremors.

The 16,480-foot volcano, nearly 90 miles south of Quito, revived on February 1, with eruptions that affected a third of Ecuador's provinces and temporarily closed a regional airport.

Tungurahua has been erupting sporadically since 1999. In 2006, a toxic cloud killed four people and left two missing.

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