QUITO, Ecuador (AP) _ Ecuador's Tungurahua volcano spewed a column of ash more than three miles into the sky Monday, capping days of smaller eruptions, authorities said.

Local television broadcast images of mountain pastures, farmland, sheep and cows covered by silty gray ash in areas north and west of the volcano.

Indira Molina, of Ecuador's Geophysics Institute, told local radio station Sonorama that the eruption began shortly after dawn.

She described it as part of a cycle of activity that has occurred roughly every six months since the 16,553-foot Tungurahua rumbled back to life in late 1999 after decades of inactivity.

Volcanologist Patricia Mothes said ash from Tungurahua, located about 88 miles from the capital, Quito, would diminish in the coming days.

There were no reports of people killed or injured since a series of eruptions began Aug. 4, but local farmers said ashfall on grazing land was forcing them to move with their livestock to other areas. No official evacuation had been ordered by the government.