Stunning lava flow at Ecuador's Tungurahua volcano as it spews molten rock and ash into the sky
A sudden surge of activity in an Ecuadorian volcano is captured up close in these fiery and spectacular pictures of the natural world at work.
Ecuadorean authorities say 110 families have been evacuated from the vicinity of the Tungurahua volcano, which has been spewing molten rock, ash and lava down its slopes since the weekend.
The 1,648 foot-high volcano, which is 84 miles south east of the Ecuadorian capital Quito, has been active since October 1999.
Scroll down for video
Lava erupts from the Tungurahua volcano, seen from nearby Huambalo, Ecuador
This photo captured the erupting volcano as seen from Juive Grande
Noise from the eruptions has been heard in the city of Riobamba, a 54 mile drive away from the site near the tourist town of Banos.
Mercedes Taipe of Ecuador's Geophysics Institute said a column of vapor and ash up to 2.5 miles high has characterized what the Institute is calling a moderate-to-strong eruption.
She said that a half-dozen villages are being showered in volcanic ash. It is not yet known how much local farmers' outputs will be affected by the latest eruptions.
In July and August 2006 Tungurahua's eruptions killed at least four people, left two missing and forced the evacuation of thousands.
In 1999, 15,000 Banos residents had to leave their homes and were unable to return for a year in the wake of a major eruption.
Farmer Segundo Guato crosses a field as he tends to his livestock in Huambalo, Ecuador, as the Tungurahua volcano throws ash and steam in the background
The sun rises over Huambolo as ash and steam billows from the active volcano
The volcano is dumping ash over nearby villages and authorities have evacuated 110 families
The Ecuadorian Geophysical Institute has observed lava being shot up to a third of a mile above the volcano's crater
The Tungurahua volcano is near the tourist town of Banos and killed four people in 2006 with its eruptions
VIDEO: Dramatic eruption! Smoke, lava and ash spews into the sky!