The Ecuadorean president, Rafael Correa, declared a state of emergency on Saturday, over increasing activity in the Cotopaxi volcano near the capital of Quito, and officials evacuated a few hundred people as a precaution.

The decree gives authorities more flexibility in using government funds to deal with any problems.

Eruptions that began on Friday have shot ash more than two miles into the sky, spreading fine gray powder over roads, homes and cars in the region as far as the capital, 30 miles to the north.


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