I mentioned earlier today that I was hoping that nothing big happened over the weekend because of all the grading I needed to do. Well, it looks like I need to reacquaint myself with Murphy and swallow my words.
Ecuadoran officials have called for evacuations of the slopes of Tungurahua after the volcano increased its ash emissions and explosions, including the production of some pyroclastic flows (spanish). Eruptions readers have sent images that show the thermal bloom above the volcano and the Washington VAAC has issued an alert to FL260 (8 km / 26,000 feet). The evacuation around the volcano applies for people living within ~12 km of the volcano and you can see some images of the impressive explosive column coming from the volcano (see top left). The National Risk Ministry has kept the alert at Red near Tungurahua (spanish). In 1999, over 15,000 people had to be evacuated when the volcano erupted and Tungurahua has been erupting frequently since it began a new period of activity over 11 years ago.
Top left: Eruption at Tungurahua on December 5, 2010. Click on the image to see a larger version.