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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.


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