<p>Fire and large clouds of gas and ash spew from the mouth of Ecuador's Tungurahua volcano, 84 miles (135 kilometers) southeast of the capital city of Quito.</p><p>The 16,475-foot (5,023-meter) volcano has been erupting intermittently since October 1999, but more aggressive activity prompted the authorities to raise the security alert from "moderate" to "high" this week.</p><p>Ecuadorean authorities told the Associated Press that more than a hundred families have been evacuated from the vicinity of Tungurahua—which means "throat of fire" in the region’s indigenous Quechua language.</p><p>(Related volcano pictures: “‘<a href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/05/pictures/110504-tungurahua-volcano-throat-of-fire-ecuador-eruption-science/">Throat of Fire’ Erupts</a>.”)</p><p><em>--Ker Than</em></p>

Throat of Fire

Fire and large clouds of gas and ash spew from the mouth of Ecuador's Tungurahua volcano, 84 miles (135 kilometers) southeast of the capital city of Quito.

The 16,475-foot (5,023-meter) volcano has been erupting intermittently since October 1999, but more aggressive activity prompted the authorities to raise the security alert from "moderate" to "high" this week.

Ecuadorean authorities told the Associated Press that more than a hundred families have been evacuated from the vicinity of Tungurahua—which means "throat of fire" in the region’s indigenous Quechua language.

(Related volcano pictures: “‘Throat of Fire’ Erupts.”)

--Ker Than

Photograph by Carlos Campana, Reuters

Pictures: Ecuador’s Tungurahua Volcano Erupts

The 16,48-foot volcano has been erupting intermittently since October 1999, but more aggressive activity this week prompted the authorities to raise the security alert from "moderate" to "high" this week.

Read This Next

What drives elephant poaching? It’s not greed
How old are you, really? The answer is written on your face.
The rise of vegan safaris

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet