Ecuador volcano throws up spectacular ash plume

image copyrightReuters
image captionTungurahua means "Throat of Fire" in the local Quechua language

A volcano just south of Ecuador's capital Quito has erupted, creating a spectacular plume of ash, 10km (six miles) high.

The Tungurahua volcano created the huge cloud on Friday in an eruption that lasted just five minutes.

The volcano has been erupting since 1999, but has been particularly active in the last two months.

Tungurahua is one of eight active volcanoes in Ecuador, which lies in the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire.

media captionFootage of the volcano's plume of smoke
image copyrightAFP
image captionThe view from Banos has looked almost apocalyptic at times
image copyrightAFP
image captionThe nearby town of Banos has been repeatedly evacuated because of eruptions in recent years