Ecuadorian authorities have been placed on alert after a 1,500-meter column of steam, gas, and ash emanated Sunday from the Cotopaxi volcano, it was reported.
The National Polytechnic School's Geophysical Institute confirmed that the volcano was clear at 5.50 am local time until the emission of steam, gas, and ash was observed in a south-easterly direction.
Sunday's episode follows some ash detected last Thursday in Quito, which is believed to stem from the Cotopaxi and arrived there due to strong winds.
The Geophysical Institute reported an increase in seismic signals on Oct. 21 from the volcano in the Andean mountain range, just 45 kilometers southeast of Quito, so a full eruption is expected anytime soon.
The Cotopaxi is one of the most active volcanoes in Ecuador. At 5,897 meters above sea level, it is the second-highest peak in the country and together with the Sangay and Reventador volcanoes (both in the Amazon region), is currently among the most active in the country.
Ecuador has over fifty volcanoes, most of them in the Andean region, although there are others in the Amazon region and in the Galapagos Islands.