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Volcano in Ecuador causing crop shortage, rising prices

Watch the video above: Thick ash coats the countryside as an Ecuadorian volcano continues to erupt.

After a week of eruptions, the Tungurahua volcano in Ecuador has damaged thousands of hectares of crops, leaving a feed shortage for 110,000 head of livestock.

The volcano erupted on Feb. 2, sending an ash plume about 13 km high, followed by two other moderate-sized explosions that sent ash about five kilometres into the sky. Since then, the volcano has continued to erupt.

The thick ash is coating crops and monsoon winds are causing the ash to spread around the countryside widely.

In order to minimize the losses incurred by the volcano’s eruption, farmers have begun to harvest tomatoes, potatoes and corns before they reach maturity.

READ MORE: Volcano creates tornado-like twisters

According to local media reports, the spreading volcanic ash has led to vegetable shortages in some large and medium-sized cities in the country.

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In Guayaquil, the biggest city in Ecuador, prices for onions, corn and potato have risen for about 10 per cent, the report said.

The Ecuadorian Geophysical Institute said that the volcanic activity is letting up gradually.

Tungurahua is one of South America’s most active volcanoes.

–With files from The Associated Press