QUITO, Ecuador (AP) - Ecuador's Pichincha volcano spewed
ash five miles into the sky Wednesday, but strong westerly winds carried the
volcanic material away from the capital, officials said.
The eruption collapsed a portion of the volcano's
crater, said Hugo Yepez, director Ecuador's Geophysical Institute. The
volcano is about 8 miles west of Quito.
In 1998, Pichincha awoke from 339 years of dormancy, and
since October has registered a series of large and small eruptions, several
of which have blanketed the city with silty, gray ash. Scientists say
they do not expect the volcano to expel lava.
The eruption Wednesday was not visible from Quito because
of cloudy conditions.