Ecuador declares emergency as volcano near Quito spews ash

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Local residents line up to buy water in Sangolqui, Ecuador on August 15, 2015 after several towns were evacuated due to the increased activity of the Cotopaxi volcano, 45 km south of Quito. (JUAN CEVALLOS/AFP/Getty Images)

Local residents line up to buy water in Sangolqui, Ecuador on August 15, 2015 after several towns were evacuated due to the increased activity of the Cotopaxi volcano, 45 km south of Quito. (JUAN CEVALLOS/AFP/Getty Images)

QUITO, Ecuador — Ecuador’s president has declared a state of emergency over increasing activity in the Cotopaxi volcano near the capital of Quito.

Saturday’s decree by President Rafael Correa gives authorities more flexibility in using government funds to deal with any problems.

Eruptions beginning Friday have shot ash more than two miles (five kilometers) into the sky, spreading fine gray powder over roads, homes and cars in the region as far as the capital 30 miles (50 kilometers) to the north.

Presidential legal secretary Alexis Mera says further ash explosions and some pyroclastic flows on the volcano’s western slopes Saturday led officials to evacuate some nearby villages.

Google Map for coordinates -1.831239 by -78.183406.

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