Ecuador ordered locals Tuesday to evacuate towns near the base of the rumbling Tungurahua volcano in the south, and issued an alert.
"We have an orange alert in the area near the Tungurahua volcano," said Maria Cornejo with the government's risk assessment office.
The villages of Cusua, Bilbao and Chacauco were asked to evacuate, she said.
The volcano started experiencing increased activity on Wednesday. The government issued an alert Thursday for the provinces of Tungurahua and then Chimborazo and Pastaza.
In 2006, Tungurahua -- which means "Throat of Fire" in Quechua language and which rises to 5,029 meters (16,500 feet) -- shook and belched streams of ash killing six people in Chimborazo province.