Volcano destroys villages

BANOS (Ecuador): Showers of incandescent rock and lava from a volcanic eruption in Ecuador's Andes mountains destroyed nearby villages, killing at least one resident and sending thousands fleeing. Ecuadorian officials said they feared the death toll from the eruption of the Tungurahua volcano could rise because 60 persons remained missing on Thursday after the eruption smothered houses, damaged access roads and blocked the flow of three rivers. Volcanic ash rained down about 230 km to the west after Tungurahua's 5,023-metre-high crater filled with magma and then exploded overnight. AP

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