Ecuador's Tungurahua volcano showers ash on local villages

Ecuador's Tungurahua volcano showered ash down on small villages and showed increased signs of activity, the Andean country's Geophysics Institute said Friday. A plume of smoke spewed from the 5,023-meter (16,575-foot) volcano 135 kilometers (80 miles) south of the capital of Quito, and red lava was seen rolling down its flanks at night. Nearby villages were not in danger, the institute said in a statement. But it warned that volcanic activity "could become more intense." Tungurahua, which means "throat of fire" in the Quichua language, has been erupting off and on since 1999.